So I was warned.. A few times, about a few things.
1. the pooh pond sucks
2. The camp is filthy from the sand that is a constant nuisance
3. Don't go to TGIFridays
4. bring plenty of wipes
5. Be prepared to run to bunkers at least once a night
It was supposed to be simple. We were reserved on a flight, which ended up leaving an hour and a half before schedule, so we missed it. We had to sit at the airport for another 9 hours for the next flight. It wasn't so bad..KIAI has plenty of shops, pizza hut, coffee places and a MWR with free wifi..so it was easy to kill time there..
Flight time approached, finally and we were boarding the plane..as we were boarding, it was getting full, I was about 4th to last but was told to back up..and me.. To head up the steps where the pilots were...yes people..I got front row seats to our flight. I sat in the engineer seat, headset and all, and bullshitted with the pilots as we made our trip.. I got to watch everything, and learned some pretty interesting facts about take off, winds, and the equipment they use that was similar to the ships.
It was great! Todd..the LCOL pilot and 3 British guys, one of which was called Foxy..
Anyways, it s pretty sweet...as tired as I was, it was interested to be in the cockpit so to speak thru both our take offs and landings (we made a stop along the way) and to see the cities thru the NVGs.
We didn't end up arriving until about 330am...and I could instantly feel the crud on my hands, and face. The dust finds it's way into every crevice possible and makes you feel like you need a shower, constantly. We didn't get to our berthing until about 430, so we decided to sleep in until about noon...which then we met on the boardwalk for lunch. They have a boardwalk, which holds many different shops, pizzeria, TGIFridays, all surrounding a hockey court and volley ball area. The boardwalk was probably the size of my Camp..in and of itself..
We walked around, took a few pics and then settled in for pizza for lunch. Overpriced, but a nice change. We made our way to the conference and then met up with our Casualty Liaison Team that works at the hospital here. If you think my job is difficult, I can't imagine theirs. They are there where they se the casualties first hand.all of them from this area, coming here to get stabilized, or treated prior to evac out of theater. It was a sobering experience to tour the hospital with them, seeing some of the injured. The thought of having to not only read, and write the reports as well as seeing them in person, is a depressing thought. I can only say GOD Bless my CLTs and what they have to see. After our tour of the hospital, we took the NCOIC out to dinner at TGIFridays. It was actually pretty good and similarly priced to the states... What would have made it better..? A glass of cold white Zin.. ;)
So, to the list of warnings,
The pooh pond sucks and stinks ridiculously bad...the smell is enough to make you gag.. Basically, their drainage system, is to a pond a couple blocks down from the berthing and boardwalk, but he odor, lingers throughout the entire base...it's disgusting... Imagine living next to a sewage for a year...and the leas pleasant odors it emits..
The camp is very dirty..sand everywhere...constant haze of sand in the air and layers of it everywhere..
TGIFridays was pretty good...we'll see how my stomach reacts tomorrow..
Wipes...well, to get the constant layer of dust off your hands and face
bunkers....so I have heard that they usually have incoming fairly regularly...but it's the norm here..and has become a routine they have grown to know...last nit was quiet..let's hope for tonight..
Heading home tomorrow...will write more upon my return..;)