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Abdullah asks: 'Why did you go?"

The National has invited school pupils to submit questions to Adrian Hayes, who is transmitting his answers back from Greenland. Today it is the turn of Class A4 at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs.

The National has invited school pupils to submit questions to Adrian Hayes, who is transmitting his answers back from Greenland. Today it is the turn of Class A4 at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs. How long do you stay in each place? - James Casaki We get to a location after the end of the day, or when the wind drops, and we will stay there the night. We'll cook dinner, we'll go to sleep, and we get up the next morning, have breakfast and go. We don't plan to stay in any place any longer than one night.

Why did you go? - Abdullah Hajiri We all have different reasons for doing this. Myself, having been to two of the ice caps - the North Pole and South Pole - this was the next obvious choice. I've always wanted to go to Greenland since I was young. Devon had been to the South Pole with me and came up with this idea, and for Derek it's so he can practise kiting on a longer journey. So a variety of reasons. We do it because we enjoy doing it, even if at times it is quite hard.

When do you plan to stop doing this? - Mohammed Nasser As long as we still like doing it and enjoy it, we'll keep doing it. We've been away a month now, it's quite hard and the hardship takes its toll in unseen ways, but there's something magical about being on such a place as this ice cap with no one living, no habitation, nothing at all but ice and snow. It's pretty special. What animals did you see there? - Ali Alwan

We've only seen two types of bird. An ivory gull - we've seen three of those - and a bird from Africa. We just got a message from our biodiversity adviser who says this bird which we saw is a northern wheatear, and we've had a few of these around our camps at night. We wondered how on earth they found us but they actually migrate from Africa to parts of Greenland and the Arctic, so quite an amazing migration.

How do you survive and what do you eat? - Nasser Hamza Well, for a lot of people, especially from the UAE, coming to this would be a real hardship and shock. There'd be a lot of frostbite and cold injuries and perhaps danger. But we are all pretty experienced in the cold. I think experience is the key. You just know what to wear, how to look after yourself. We're eating freeze-dried rations where you just boil up the snow and add it to these packets. We have cereal in the morning and a variety of dinners in the evening. They're pretty tasty, in fact. We're eating quite a lot of calories, 4,500 per day.

What did you do in the North and South Poles? - Rohit Manefe Well, basically slightly different, we walked from the coast of Canada to the North Pole - that took 50 days across the frozen Arctic Ocean. And on the South Pole walked from the edge of Antarctica, the coastline, with Devon McDiarmid, who's on our team here, and we walked 1,200km to the South Pole. What has been the happiest time in your journey and what was the worst moment? - Rashid Saeed

I think the nicest times are when we've been kiting into the night and there's been a sunset, so we're moving north, we've had the sun setting on the west side, good conditions, good wind, really moving fast. There have been a couple of occasions that have been really special. The worst moments are when we've had some catastrophic incidents on the kite. You've fallen badly, been lifted in the air about 15 metres it feels, you come down with a crash, you've hurt yourself and [there is] howling wind, blowing snow, everything is getting a little bit chaotic, these are the worst times. But we've gone into a little bit more stable, lower winds, moving gradually, steady if not spectacular, over the last week or so, so it's all going well.

loatway@thenational.ae

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