Friday, June 27, 2008

Three Conch and a Brick

Jerry went diving with some of the Marines last Saturday and picked up these lovely conch shells.  He had to go to work and called me to pick them up. I put them in the car and realized very quickly that these babies stink to high heaven. I continued the drive with the windows down all the way home. They are very ugly shells before they are cleaned due to all the sea garbage stuck to it.  I was instructed to put them in the freezer before handing them off to one of the Philippine workers to clean. I guess freezing them makes it easier to pull the entire thing out. If one little piece of the conch stays in the shell you can never get the stink out no matter how long you soak it in bleach.  While I was putting them in the freezer I could see one of the conch moving. I felt badly freezing them alive but was assured that they just go to sleep when they get that cold. On a side note conch is supposed to be good eating. You can make conch chowder, conch sushi, pan fried conch, baked conch, conch kabob, conch on a bun. You get the idea.  Everyone we talk to cooks conch differently. These are apparently old conch. The dude that cleaned them said to find ones that are a bit smaller and the color will be more vibrant. Jerry is diving again with the Marines tomorrow and with me on Sunday. We are hoping to find more to add to our collection. The brick is for frame of reference so you get an idea of the shell size. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I saw that I could put video on my blog so I decided to test it out. I took some video of the dogs and ended up with this funny video.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

All moved in

We are all moved in and all the boxes are unpacked. This house is so big that it would take many more pieces of furniture to fill it.  There is also lots of echo.  I measured and the ceilings are 11 feet high. You can see the very large ladder in the background. That is what I need to hang some of the artwork.  The dogs love the house. They stay very busy laying in the sun and hunting lizards. 

I bought this very old, very ugly, dining room table with six chairs that will go where the dogs are sitting. I am going to have one of the Jamaican dudes refinish it for me. It's solid wood. I got it for 65 bucks and I'm told it will cost about 100 bucks to have it redone. You can have things done here very inexpensively. 100 dollars to a Jamaican is a ton of money. I will show you the after photo when it is done. I plan to have it stained a nice dark chocolate brown.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Feeding the fish

The nice thing about GTMO is the incredible sea life. Nothing is over fished and there are many reefs teaming with eel, turtles, and colorful fish. After taking the dogs to the park, to run off some of their steam, we decided to hit one of the beaches popular with snorkelers. The sea was a bit rough but the underwater views were incredible. We saw a small turtle that Jerry decided to swim down and investigate. He scared it off. We saw lots and lots of fish. We were about half hour out when I felt a funny sensation. I popped my head out of the water, spit out my snorkel, and began puking. Apparently all the bobbing up and down with the waves made me seasick. Jerry was sweet and supportive as always. He said, “we need to get back now, let’s go.” I said, hey do you mind if I stop puking first?” He said, “no we need to go now.”  He was right and I felt better after I put the snorkel back in and started swimming. It was a long 30 minutes back to the beach. 

Happy Independence Day

We went to the Philippine Independence Day celebration last night. The local Filipinos served traditional Filipino food followed by a cultural presentation. The food was served buffet style and guests ate under big tents. The food was great but it was hot and biting bugs went to work on us right away. Since it such a warm night and we were out in the heat I drank a lot of water. The food was amazing and but the show lasted two and a half hours with no intermission. Yep, we sat on the front row as honored guests; I should not have drunk so much water. 

This photo is of their national dance, a cool stick dance where they moved the two bamboo poles up and down and side to side, slamming the sticks down and then together making a loud rhythmic noise while two dancers would gracefully dance in and out of the sticks timed so as not to have an ankle crushed. The MC announced that they wanted audience participation so they grabbed Jerry and I, to my dismay. The dance looked much easier when the Filipino dancers performed, not the easiest dance for us to do. I was just hopping around like an idiot trying not to get smacked in the ankle by a moving pole. As I was doing this I must have been flailing my arms for balance and punched Jerry right in the jaw in front of 300 to 400 people. Embarrassing.

 Here are a couple more photos from the show. I am thankful they wore boxer shorts under their loincloths. 



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shoe Crab

We finally got our house. I am one happy camper. Our household goods will be delivered on Monday. The last time I slept in my bed was March 17th. I miss my bed. This is a picture looking into the living room from the kitchen. It’s a huge house, three bedroom two bath, built in the 1940s. It still has the original Cuban tile. The living and dining room have the green tile and the bedrooms have similar yellow tile. All the hardware on the doors is original. I think it’s about 2000 feet. Jerry said we should leave the living room empty and we could play racquetball in there.
I am waiting on a friend of mine to call and then we are going to hit the beach. I gathered all my beach necessities up and found a surprise hiding in my beach shoe. I’m guessing you have already figured out that there are crabs all over the place. The land crabs, the big ones, like to run across the road and get ran over. You have to be careful because they will puncture your tires. They come out after it rains. The roads look like one big crab massacre right now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta

This is a once a year event where everyone makes boats out of cardboard and then they have a race. As they race people on the shore launch water balloons at them. There were very elaborate boats all painted up. The Marine’s boat tipped over in about the first minute. The whole event was hysterical. I can’t post some of the better pictures because I have people’s faces in them. I don’t think it is right to post someone’s face on the internet without permission.