Friday, August 29, 2008

A tale of woe

I am still licking my wounds from the canceled trip to Florida. Again, thank you hurricane Gustav. I did manage to do some serious online shopping to help improve my spirits. One of the reasons I was so happy to get out of GTMO, besides the obvious shopping extravaganza, was the fact I would miss a male bonding night where many conch would be torn from their shells, chopped up, and fried. Just thinking about the event makes my stomach churn. For whatever reason I am having a hard time eating things I have seen alive. I did manage to take some pictures of the event and thought you would enjoy it as much as I did (in case you couldn't tell I was being sarcastic). Notice how black the sink water gets as the massacre progresses. That is from the black ooze that drips out of the conch.

So let the male bonding begin.







Yummy.......................

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Critters

Part of the thrill of living in Cuba are all the reptiles that crawl or slither into the yard. I love this little guy. He hangs out under what used to be my tree in the backyard. He is a Ameiva. He has a beautiful bright blue tail. The picture doesn't do it justice.

One day I let Nala, our dog, in the backyard and she starts making this terrible barking noise. I ran outside and she is chasing this poor Iguana down the yard. Just so you know Iguanas can run really really really fast. She had dug under the fence and let herself in. I tried to lure her out of the yard with apples.  I think she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder because she didn't want the apples and hid behind the shed for about an hour. She finally left down the hole she came in on. I know you are wondering how I know the Iguana is a "she." Well, females don't have spines on top of their heads and this one was bald.

I love this weird little guy. He visits me every morning while I sit at my computer. He is a Cuban Green Anole.  
I am a screamer and from time to time the neighbors get a taste of my high pitched voice. Especially when I almost stepped on this Cuban Racer. 


On a side note I am flying to Target today, I mean Florida, to meet up with my two crazy girlfriends. I wont be posting until the weekend. I also finally got a job with Family Services which will start as soon as I get back from my trip. I see lots of shopping in my future.  

Update:
I want to send out a big thank you to Hurricane Gustav for wrecking my vacation plans. All flights were grounded today so I am home online shopping hoping to heal the pain. It's not working.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lightning strikes twice

We had a very exciting evening last night. See for yourself.

Friday night we dined on fresh fresh frozen fish we caught a few weeks ago. Mostly black snapper right around the keeper limit. When we went last night there were hundreds of HUGE fish, tarpon, mackerel, reef shark and a few others eating everything we caught the week prior. Just as we were about to pack it in......

video
This is unusual because tuna rarely come this far into the bay and are typically in deeper salt water. We're not complaining though.


This is a big beautiful yellow fin tuna that will be in my tummy tonight!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conch Ceviche

When you pull a conch out of the sea it doesn't come out all beautiful and ready to display on the mantle. It's usually looks like this or even worse. It's not an easy task to clean and normally I would have taken it to one of the Filipinos, but Jerry wanted to try cleaning it out ourselves. Also, we succeeded at pulling out the conch without damaging the shell.
We started by pouring some liquid plumber into a pail and adding some water.

After lots of scrubbing this is what you get. This is actually a very colorful conch. The most colorful we have found so far.



Does that make you ooh and ahh?

If you're wondering what we did with the conch, well, we ate it. Jerry made Conch Ceviche, a Latin dish served cold. You don't cook the conch instead you let it sit in lime juice and let the acid in the juice cook it.




It was very good but I'm still having a hard time eating it. They really look like a giant snail. Plus Jerry had it sitting on the table, before we put it in the fridge and killed it, and it came out and was looking at me. I felt bad for the slimy critter.


I might as well get used to eating the stuff. My husband LOVES it.






Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oops

The guy that takes care of our yard is so sweet and hard working but he doesn't speak much English.  I try to explain, to the best of my ability, what I want done with hand gestures and using simple English words that I think he will understand. So on Sunday I decided I wanted a couple of branches removed from some trees and bushes. I showed him the branches I wanted removed and then went on a bike ride with Jerry. Here is what I came home to.

Before 

After

Well, not exactly what I had in mind. Here is another bush that was about 10 feet tall with beautiful red flowers.


Another poor tree.


In this situation all you can do is laugh. And stay home next time to supervise.  

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

It's early Saturday morning and here comes our first tropical storm, now over Haiti and headed our way. I am excited for a couple of reasons. First, it's my first tropical storm. Second, I will not have to pick up dog poo. It rains so hard here it dissolves the poo. Jerry says tropical storm Fay shares the same name as Major Fay, the first Marine Barracks Commander at Guantanamo Bay. Here are a couple of photographs taken a few minutes ago. Beautiful blue skies. I will add photos as the storm hits.
We were at the Exchange all morning selling Marine tee-shirts and raffle tickets to raise money for the Marine Ball. We are starting to get a few bands of the storm. A few minutes later it was sunny outside and the wind stopped blowing. You can see how strong the wind was blowing by looking at the palm tree in the background.
It is 3:30 and we are stuck at the house waiting for the storm. It looks like it is swinging south. This is not a good thing due to the fact it will hit more warm water and strengthen before swinging north and hitting us.  Although, it may miss us all together and this will be a really boring post.
Well, I guess it's going to be a really boring post. It's Sunday morning and the storm blew south of us and all we got was a little wind and rain. It didn't even rain hard enough to dissolve the poop. I am disappointed. 

woman have a thing about curtains and my new blue crocs

video

Monday, August 11, 2008

I think I need a Target fix

I was in for quite an adventure today. I took a trip to the other side of the bay to explore new beaches. I think I have been experiencing Island Fever a bit because the idea of venturing to a new place had me ecstatic. There were seven of us that loaded ice chests, lawn chairs, and beach toys into a suburban. We headed off to the ferry that would carry us to the other side. I was thrilled to see a beautiful sandy beach. The kids enjoyed jumping off the pier and watching Iguanas.  Below are a few pictures of our adventure. 

The ferry is always packed with cars. We hope it's not full when we come back. Silly military wives looking for a good time have the last priority when it comes to the ferry. 


My friend's kids, the best behaved kids on the planet, are amazed by Iguanas. They are watching a male and female. Maybe the Iguanas are watching them. 

This male Iguana is missing a good section of his tail. He was probably hit by a car. Iguanas are not the smartest reptiles on the planet. As soon as we fired up the engine to leave he ran under the suburban and we had to get out and chase him off. 

We decided to check out another beautiful spot called Hidden Beach. You are not allowed to swim at this beach due to a vicious undertow but are allowed to scuba dive here. It's supposed to be amazing and I can't wait to dive this beach. I have to get my advanced diver certification which I begin on the 15th. 

This is a female Iguana. She was watching us as we climbed down the stairs toward the beach.



This is a stunning beach with beautiful aqua water. 


We were the last car on the ferry. We really didn't think we would fit but they squeezed us on. It was a nice day at the beach. Tomorrow I should probably stay home, do some laundry, and look for a job.

Monday, August 4, 2008

If you are bored in GTMO it's your own fault

We had an action packed weekend.

Saturday
7:00 AM - Breakfast at the Galley
8:00 AM - Hunt for Sea Glass
9:00 AM - Back at home to shower
10:00 AM - Tour of a Ship ( more on this later)
12:00 PM - Trip to the Scuba shop to pick up gear
12:30 PM - Scuba dive
3:00 PM - Back in the shower
4:00 PM - Jerry heads to work to give a tour of the Northeast gate
4:30 PM - I head off to a 30th birthday party
6:30 PM - Jerry arrives at birthday party
9:00 PM - Off to Jamaican independence day celebration
11:00 PM - In bed at last

Sunday was not as busy but we did have a trip to the commissary and did some yard work. Actually we have a Filipino worker that did most of it. It's work we could do ourselves but this is money they send home to their families. They only make about two dollars an hour here, some less. They work six days a week, ten hour days. I'm sure you are wondering how this can be. Well, we hire contractors and the contractors hire them and pay them what they want. Compared to their economy the money they make here can completely support many family members back home. So on Sundays, their only day off, they clean houses and mow lawns.

We were invited on a personal tour of the USS Farragut. Named for Admiral Farragut who was the first person in the history of the United States Navy to be awarded the rank of Admiral. Too bad he died in 1870 and never got to see the ship named after him. Anyhoo, it was a very nice tour and we were asked to have lunch in the Ward Room where we met the ship's Captain and other important dudes. I could have never been in the Navy. The tight quarters and low ceilings made me claustrophobic.




I realize this is a terrible picture but it's the only one I have of Jamaican Independence day. Jamaicans can really dance and really party. We were in bed by 11:00 but I hear this party went on all night.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Random pictures and engagement

This week was not very exciting. In fact, not exciting enough to post anything new to the blog. So I'm going to add some picture for your viewing enjoyment. Actually something exciting did happen this week. I would like to say congratulations to my cousin Mackenzie on her engagement to Karl. We cannot wait to add Karl to our family.
This is the woodpecker that pecks on our glass in front of my computer. Talk about a bird brain.


This is our house. I love the palm tree below. It's a beautiful lime green color and it makes me happy. I like it so much I even water it.
Please come and visit us. This is the room you will be staying in. It comes with a private bathroom. (dog not included). Hey Kenz and Karl what are your honeymoon plans? Hint hint.
Is he not the most precious thing you have ever seen? Don't you want to grab his sweet salty face and give him a big kiss
Last but not least. A very friendly Iguana let me take a picture of him without tearing my eyes out. Did you know Iguanas have tiny razor sharp teeth that can bite a finger clean off?