T me/Abdusalim Shavkatov page 1 multi-level reading test part 2

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ML reading test 6

page 5 
Pen and Mary live in the country with their two children. 'It's much harder to be away from 
them this time,' he admits. 'They were one and five when I last went, and I made a mistake 
in the way I said goodbye. I thought it would be a good idea to say to my son, "You're the 
man of the house now, look after your mum and your sister." He absolutely took it to heart
asking his mum how she was all the time, but the strain eventually became too much. 
While it was well intentioned, it was an unfair thing to do.' For similar reasons he is 
planning to have very little contact with them while in the Arctic. 'If you call them, you 
remind them how far away you are.' 
He is spending these last days before departure preparing his kit, obsessively. 'Out on the 
ice, one is virtually incapable of mending things or doing anything that isn't absolutely 
straightforward,' he says. With him will be Ann Daniels, one of the world's leading polar 
explorers, and the expedition photographer, Martin Hartley. They will be supported by a 
crew of six, flying in supplies. Being part of a team is actually more stressful to someone 
with his mentality, says Pen, and something else is on his mind too. 'I'm going to be 47 on 
Thursday. I've done far less training than I'm comfortable with.' Why? "Organisational 
things always seem more urgent. So I'm almost fearful of what I'm going to ask of myself.' 
Pen believes his mission reconnects exploration with the search for knowledge that drove 
previous generations into the unknown. "Making it to the North Pole was ultimately a 
personal ambition,' he admits, and of limited value to anyone beyond the polar adventuring 
community. This time, scientists will profit from the data, and we're creating a platform in 
which to engage as many people as possible in what's happening in the Arctic Ocean. This is 
important work, and nobody can do it but us,' he says. 'Our skills, which are otherwise 
bizarre and socially redundant, have become hyper-relevant. Suddenly, we're socially useful 

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