Hafa Adai!

ARRIVAL. — Ladies and gents, I have made it safely to Guam as of last Saturday. Technically, Guam is a day ahead of North Dakota, so… as of last Sunday. It was strange to know that I lost an entire day due to our civilized way of keeping time. The members of the squadron were there plane side to greet us, and helped whisk away our luggage to our assigned dorm houses. After two hours of bus rides around base & uncertainty of where we should be at that moment, I gave up and walked in the dark to my new home. I was pretty tired after my sixteen hour flight; I had been up for a full twenty-four hours! I couldn’t even type an e-mail to Larry to tell him I had arrived safely – I had troubles typing! I fell into bed about 2030, and was up at 0600 the next day. It rains all the time here, as the best kept secret about this time of year is the rainy season – so at any moment you can be caught in a torrential downpour. At least it is warm here (85°F), compared to the 5°F high in Minot today.

ACCLIMATE. — This past week here has been getting accustomed to how this base operates, where to locate what you need (like groceries and essential buildings), & flying operations. I was tagged this coming first full week with mission planning, but for some strange reason, it began last Wednesday. What a gyp. I also get to look forward to the only 0500 flight next Friday… a repeat of my flight last Friday morning. Everyone else is Sleeping Beauties; getting to show up to work at 1240! Schmucks. However, I did get to snap a few photos of the beach at sunset with my new DSLR camera, which made an entire day spent inside seem less mundane. I picked up some snorkeling/scuba gear from the shop on base: one step closer to morphing into Lara Croft, adventuress extraordinaire. I got this badass gear, in case you needed a photo.

JUST BEACHY. — With the boring work stuff aside, I did get a chance to have some fun on Saturday. I was supposed to go to a scuba certification class, but the instructor never showed up and the dive shop had no record of it getting scheduled. That’s the way things work on this island – it’s whatever! Me and a couple friends were dropped off at Tumon Bay, to bake on the beach while they ran errands shuttling people where they wanted to go. We then made the best of having our scuba gear and went snorkeling at Gab Gab Beach on the Navy Base in the southern part of the island. It was like swimming in an aquarium! My favorite creatures were the anemone fish darting in and around their living anemone home. I also chased some tang fish, parrot fish, clown fish, trumpet fish, angel fish, butterfly fish and tons more I can’t identify… It looked like Finding Nemo. You could hear me giggling at these flashy, silly little guys through my snorkel. I had a great time, and now I have an even greater sunburn! I think I may get speared or caught in a lobster trap…

After snorkeling, I went out with the “intel dudes” to go get sushi. It was a birthday dinner for JP (who was also at my Mad Men party). Talk about fresh sushi! It doesn’t get any better than a mostly Japanese populated island with fresh fish hauled in daily. Such a change from land locked Minot! I did get to dress up a little and wear my striped maxi dress. Being surrounded by dudes in t-shirts and flip flops day in and day out gets boring. I just wish Larry was here to experience it all, too. I haven’t talked to him since I arrived – he’s been very busy at work. Luckily we’re only five or so hours’ difference now; much better than the 10.5 hour change we had before!

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