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Fathers in Antarctica celebrate birth of new-borns back home

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-26 09:50

Fathers in Antarctica celebrate birth of new-borns back home

Research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) docks 31km from China's Zhongshan station in Antarctic on Dec 5, 2016.[Photo/CCTV]

ABOARD XUELONG -- As many in China head to their hometowns over the lunar new year, Chinese Antarctic explorers are celebrating through videos and photos of their families.

Over the past three decades, many explorers were unable to witness the birth of their babies due to their remote location and difficulty in returning home.

For some team members of China's 33rd Antarctic expedition -- a 161-day trip of 31,000 nautical miles, they missed, or are about to miss, the big moment of welcoming the little members into their families.

MORE THAN WATCHING PENGUINS

Wang Ping, wife of polar researcher Hu Zhengyi, used to think that "going to Antarctica to watch penguins was a cool thing."

But when Wang saw her husband on her computer screen with a swarthy face due to intense ultraviolet radiation in Antarctica, tears rolled down her cheeks.

"I never thought, after so many days, we would see each other this way," she said.

When Hu departed for Antarctica on Nov. 2, 2016, Wang had been pregnant for a couple of months.

"He and I used to cry when I saw him off. But this time, he did not cry, maybe he didn't want me to feel unhappy," Wang recalled.

In December, when icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, was passing the Zhongshan Station, Hu received a message from home -- her wife delivered a baby, 50 days earlier than expected.

"It was all of a sudden," Wang said. "I really needed someone to help me, just accompany me. But there was only me during all the process."

Hu has uploaded a photo of the new-born as his phone's wallpaper. "Because of the premature birth, the baby is smaller than others," he said staring at the only photo of his baby in his phone.

The couple have decided to call their baby "Manman," meaning slowly. "The infant name is an expectation that Hu and I can spend the rest of our life together slowly," Wang said.

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