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  • Writer's pictureE Stegmaier

St. Eustatius Airport Expansion Project: Days 13 & 14 (May 3-4, 2021)

I'm probably going to start grouping days together in my blog entries, as the work is becoming routine. I assure you the work is still fascinating, but I'm limited as to what I can write about and show. My drawings are being well-received, and I'm happy about that. Every waking moment of my day is dedicated to working. My drawings generally take longer to complete than it takes the team to excavate the features that I'm rendering, so I'm in a constant state of being behind. I've also been asked to design a billboard to advertise our excavation and to highlight the island's cultural heritage in an attempt to jump-start some interest within the younger generations on Statia.

My job at sites like this is much harder work than I think many people back home realize, both mentally and physically. Compared to most of the people on this project, I'm an old man; a fact that my knees remind me of constantly. Usually, I take an ibuprofen when I wake up in the morning, and another before I go to bed at night. Today I was popping them like candy.

We had a series of soaking rainstorms yesterday afternoon and last night, so the site was unusually wet this morning. This afternoon was gorgeous, albeit very windy.

A view of our 18th-century site looking West. I love clouds- I always have. If you look closely, you can see pockets of rain coming down in diagonal, dark-gray bands.

I worked at the site for most of the day, then walked back to the Science Institute after lunch to continue inking my field drawings. The drawings that I produce back at the Institute are publication-ready, so I need a clean environment to do them in. If you could see what my drafting vellum looks like in the field, you'd be amazed that anything would adhere to it...even pencil. The wind, dirt, and dust stain everything yellow-brown. I spoke to my wife on the phone from the site today, so she kind of understands how incessant the wind is out there. It's a challenging work environment when everything wants to blow away and you're constantly being sand-blasted by dirt. Adding to that misery today, our 18th-century site is downwind from the prehistoric site, which was using the excavator for part of the day. So all that dirt was carried our way, much to the chagrin of those who wear contact lenses.

This evening the sunset was amazing. I was working at the little desk in my room and I happened to look out of my non-existent window (it fell out two weeks ago) to catch this view:

Not bad, huh?

Tomorrow I'll head to the site first thing. I generally only ever know that much on a day to day basis. Once I'm there, we'll assess where everyone is regarding the excavation status of their features in order to determine my schedule for the rest of the day.

Rest assured that, one way or another, I'll be busy!

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Amy Cabral
Amy Cabral
May 05, 2021

This blog post is filled with fascinating topics. The rain coming down from the clouds, the specific description of the wind and dust. I feel like I’m there with you, although I’m glad my contacts are not! Hang in there and stay in the moment!

E Stegmaier
E Stegmaier
May 08, 2021
Replying to

Thanks for reading these, Amy lol. It gives me a reason to keep writing them!

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