Saturday, May 31, 2008

Nala versus the Crab

This is a Land Crab that decided to make a home in our backyard. Nala was completely freaked out. She was interested but scared at the same time. Every time she would get close the crab would lunge at her and open its claws. It was very entertaining to watch. Turbo didn’t even go look because he has decided that he doesn’t like wet grass and would rather poop upstairs where the carpet is nice and dry. So it’s back to kennel training for him. I’m sure you are wondering why Nala has a shaved spot on her side. Well she had a tick on her about three weeks ago and for some reason it got infected after Jerry pulled it out. I took her to the vet and they shaved her and gave me some stuff to put on it so she doesn’t get screw worm. It’s a worm that invades open cuts. Nasty!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fish Head

This weekend we attended a function at the base Admiral’s house. Everyone invited brought a dish. This dish was my favorite. This is a giant grouper that a guy caught spear fishing that very day. He sliced it up and made grouper sushi. I can guarantee it’s the freshest sushi I have ever had. It was delicious.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

Yesterday for Memorial Day we attended an early service at the Cuzco Cemetery. The cemetery is off limits all year and is only open on Memorial Day. The Marines gave the 21 gun salute. There are people from all over the world buried here. It is also the resting place for all the Cuban and Haitian exiles.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Big Boy

Yesterday there was another function at the main club and while we enjoyed refreshments on the patio this big boy showed up. Clearly the largest we’ve seen to date so I risked life and limb to get this photo as iguanas can be aggressive. Just look at the size of his claws.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday the family that we replaced departed the Island. They had lived here for three years and wanted to extend. There were lots of tears shed as they made their way to the ferry. A tradition here at GTMO is to jump in the water and follow the ferry as a family departs.

We are going to move into their house in about two weeks. I am ready to get unpacked and sleep in my own bed.

I am looking at my day planner and I don’t have a day left in May that doesn’t have something on it. One of the perks of being the CO’s wife is getting to meet all the special guests visiting the island. This weekend I will attend a dinner with the band Everclear. For those of you young hip kids you know this is pretty cool.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Change of Command

Jerry's Change of Command was very nice. I would say about 100 people showed up. I was given flowers, as was the wife that is leaving. There was a reception that followed. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get them. Jerry is now one busy guy. He worked almost all day on Saturday while I was at the beach enjoying myself. I felt almost guilty. I couldn't get in the water. Doctors orders. He wants the bites to heal first. Yes, I finally couldn't take the itching and went to see the Doc. The photo above was taken at Steaks and Beer. The following pictures were taken at the beach. The first one was taken on Saturday at a beach that is more rocky but really beautiful. One of the wives and I walked for about an hour collecting shells. We even saw a small eel. The next picture is on Sunday with Jerry and the dogs. As it turns out Turbo can swim. Go figure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Calamine take me away

Talitridae (order Amphipoda), otherwise know as the sand flea, is reeking havoc on my arms and legs. They live in the sand at the beach and bite away as you bask in the beautiful sun. A few days later tiny bumps start to form and then they begin to itch. A few hours later you itch so badly that you scratch until you bleed.

I was not sure what was going on. I didn’t want to pull down my pants to show people so I took some pictures. I thought you might enjoy them as well. You will have to excuse my pasty white legs. I am the whitest girl on the island. Also, I am holding the camera at a really weird angle so I know my leg looks like a ham hock. The last picture is after I applied calamine cream all over them. One of the ladies I met at the housing office knew what they were. I am relieved I don’t have the mumps or some other type of exotic disease. Jerry’s change of command is on Friday. It’s this super important ceremony, I guess, where Jerry takes over as Commander. I was planning to wear this really cute skirt that my Mom bought me. That is totally out of the question now.

A day at the beach

This weekend Jerry and I decided to hit the bay. Turbo seemed to know that he couldn’t swim and only got in about chest high. Nala can swim but wasn’t sure she wanted to.
Jerry decided to help her out a bit and carried her out and dropped her in the water.

That did the trick and she had a blast chasing her ball into the bay.
These star fish were everywhere. They were about the size of a Frisbee.
Last night I got home from dinner with the Marine wives and there was a crab in the garage and a giant frog on the front porch. Just thought you would like to know that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

At the car wash

Jerry and I took the car to the car wash and look what we found under the car. This little guy was just hanging out enjoying himself. You would think all the soap would bother him but he seemed perfectly happy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Desert Rat

I think I moved from one Desert to another. These cacti are everywhere. Guantanamo is very arid most of the time. This time of year is the rainy season so the humidity is high and the mosquitoes are everywhere. There are tropical plants here as well. It's a strange mix.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stop in the name of the law

The Naval Security Force pulled me over and threatened to tow my car. I missed a turn and thought a U-turn was harmless and executed the maneuver. The Navy police thought differently and were even less pleased when I did not have my license, registration, insurance, or base identification card. I was like, “hey man, I was at the beach and I’m new here and I don’t know the rules.” They allowed me to drive to the house and show them the documentation. My insurance card expired four days ago and I had not received the new ones. They were nice and let me go with a warning. My evening ended with a steaks and beer event for the Marines. A fabulous Irish former Marine named Seamus goes all over the world and brings hundreds of steaks to feed the Marines. He also raises money for wounded Marines. He lives at Gettysburg, PA and does big functions for the wounded Veterans at his home. It was a wonderful event. We brought Turbo, our Bulldog, for the Marines to enjoy. This place is small. The lady that pulled me over was at the event. Her boss was there as well and wanted to know the whole situation. She told me that normally I would have lost driving privileges for a month. I will be more careful from now on. Below you will see some photos I took at the beach before I almost got arrested. Can you find the crab?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Iguana be in pictures

Day five on the Island and I’m feeling fine. My dance card is filling up fast. In fact, I bought a day planner so I don’t forget anything. I’m heading to the beach this morning with some of the wives. I guess it’s not a great time to swim due to the microscopic jelly fish. The sand fleas will also probably attack me. I am told if you spray a mixture of vinegar and water that will stop the itching. As a bonus I will smell divine.

Iguanas cover this entire island. For the first couple of days I didn’t see any. I pulled my car over to get this shot.
I jumped about 10 feet when I heard something large in the bush right next to me. Giant snake, run, was my initial thought. I was relieved when this happy little fellow came scampering out.
So here is my first Iguana sighting. I have probably seen about 20 so far. They are everywhere.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Guantanamo or bust

Hello everyone. We finally made it to Cuba. What a crazy couple of days it has been. The morning we left San Diego I woke up not feeling quite right and by the time our plane left I was suffering from the full blown flu. We arrived in Baltimore about 5:00PM and checked into the hotel. I went straight to bed. We had to get up at 3:00AM and get to the airport, and yes, I’m still sick as a dog. We had a layover in Jacksonville Florida before we headed to Cuba. We landed in Cuba about 11:30AM. George, the guy Jerry is replacing, had it arranged so that we got off the airplane before anyone else. They announced that everyone had to stay in their seats and then called us off the plane. Really embarrassing! After military dogs sniffed our bags we were able to grab them and head for the boat. The airport is on the opposite side of the bay so you must take a boat to the main side. George arranged a private boat for us so we did not have to wait for the ferry. I sat in the front of the boat because I wanted to take in the beauty of the island. It was an amazing ride until it starting pouring down rain and we were soaked from head to toe. We finally pulled up to the dock and I could see bright yellow fish with black stripes swimming around the boat. We unloaded everything, including dogs. Oh by the way, they did just fine on the flights. I assumed at this point they would take us to the hotel. Imagine my surprise when we pulled up to a three bedroom duplex. They had it ready with loaner furniture, washer drier, even dog food for the puppies. On the kitchen cabinet was a card welcoming us and letting us know that some of the military wives would be bringing us meals for the next five days. I was invited to brunch with the ladies on Sunday and then we would be going the Station Commander’s house for dinner where we would be taking an evening cruise around the island with a visiting movie star. I missed all of it. I was so sick that I stayed in bed the rest of the day Saturday and all day Sunday. Jerry had a great time. He said the movie star was the groom in Wedding Crashers that fought with Vince Vaugh (all of this second hand info as Jerry and I fell asleep during the movie). Last night a bunch of tree frogs were stuck to the French doors. Today is Monday and my fever has lifted and I’m starting to feel like myself again. One of the wives is picking me up and we are going to get the car we shipped. Then I’m going to hit the Internet cafĂ© and post this message. We don’t have Internet or television in the house. I think I will come back to the house and sleep.