Mission Day 14: Mad Respect, AKA Don’t Kill Bob


This post should really be titled, “MAD, MAD, MAD” respect.

Respect for what, you may ask? For lifelong astronauts? For scientists and support staff who spent winter in Antarctica? For service people aboard submarines and ships who do this isolation thing all the time?

Absolutely, but I’ve respected the heck out of those folks for years. This is brand new respect we’re talking about here.

Over the last two weeks — two weeks already! — I’ve come upon a profound pile of respect, basically a mountain of respect, for people who feed families of six or more in underdeveloped countries. It’s an all-day long, and half-the-night long endeavor. I don’t know how anyone does it for weeks, months, years on end.

I am not kidding in the slightest. I had absolutely no idea what it took to keep a group of this size fed and watered by hand until I was thrown on top of a volcano with five other people who like to eat bread, drink milk, and dirty dishes all day long.

How did I miss this? In high school, I lived in a dorm with 12 other people, including two 18-year-old Japanese football players who individually — not collectively — consumed a lasagna, a loaf of garlic bread, and a green salad the size of a six-month-old baby for dinner every day. In college, I lived in a co-op with 40 other similarly talented consumers of food and makers of domestic chaos. Berkeley + lots of pillows + movie night + popcorn = a mess of epic proportions. Kernels continued to be found in every nook and cranny for weeks afterward (especially when the movie is Real Genius. I should have known better). In graduate school, I had a minimum of three roommates at all times, most —> Read More