Neath duo are warming up to take on the coolest job on Earth
THIS has got to be the coolest place to work on Earth.
A father and daughter from Neath have each been offered a job in Antarctica — the coldest, windiest and most isolated continent in the world.
Kathleen Leavy, and her father Joe Leavy, will be spending several months living among penguins and icebergs and helping to run the world's most southerly post office and shop.
The duo have both been offered contracts by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, a Monmouthshire-based British charity which works to conserve historic buildings in Antarctica.
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Kathleen, 25, who up until now has been working for a small financial firm, said it was a "dream come true" to be offered the job, despite the prospect of working in a building with no central heating, mains electricity or running water.
"Working in the Antarctic is a privilege that very few people get to experience," she said. "And to be there in 2012, the centenary year of Scott's expedition to the South Pole, will make it even more special."
She will live with three other team members at Port Lockroy, a former British research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, now managed by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The building, which is only accessible by ship, operates as a 'living museum' and has been restored to its former 1960s appearance. It is only open during the austral summer when the ice is thin enough for ships to reach the area.
"It's the opportunity of a lifetime," said Joe, 56, who has worked as a carpenter all his life, and is due to work further south at Detaille Island, restoring and repairing another historic building.
He said: "I've worked as a carpenter in many places in the world, including the African jungle, but nowhere quite as remote as Antarctica. I'm so pleased we have both been given this amazing chance."
Director of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, Rachel Morgan, said: "We're delighted that both Kath and Joe will be working for us this season. They are both passionate about Antarctica. Although they will be working at different bases, they will both do a wonderful job helping to preserve these important buildings."
Kathleen added: "I'm incredibly excited. I hope my experience and my father's experience will inspire others to discover more about Antarctica for themselves."