I have gotten a few weeks behind, due to friends and family visiting and traveling the past month. I’m still going to post them in weekly chunks though, starting at the oldest!
Had a great time with Gail and Christie visiting this week. It’s so nice to have friends come here and see our life and our home here.
We introduced Gail & Christie to our friends, and Gail and I hiked with Jess up along the Ridgeline trail. At the end of the trail, there were about 8 jeeps facing us! Good thing we finished the trail right then, otherwise, we might have gotten run over on the trail! It was the jeep club, out on an outing, since it was a holiday that day. They asked if we wanted to join. Gail, being from NYC, said “we don’t know them!”. Why would we get in a car with strangers?! haha. Typical GTMO fashion, I thought, that sounds fun! I had seen a few of the people before, and thought it’d be a good time. They also promised to take us to places that 99% of people living in GTMO have never seen, since they had gotten special permission to go off-roading along roads that aren’t normally open to the public. Of course I wanted to go on a “behind the scenes” tour! Adventure is my middle name! It was beautiful. We had fun off-roading, met some new friends, and got to see some pretty good views.
Christie creamed us at bowling with 5 strikes! All of those bowling classes she took at Biola must have prepared her.
During their time here, we visited all of the 5 beaches on island. After the jeep tour experience, we went up to the top of one of the hills with OUR 4-wheel drive car (on which apparently the 4-wheel drive doesn’t work). I got the car stuck in between the gears, and it was unable to get back into gear. We slowly went in first gear for about 45 minutes, and finally took it to the RQ mechanics. I was thankful for the team here who so kindly fixes our cars, and a company that provides us with different cars when we break ours! oops!
We hosted a Baby Shower for Christie with the RQ employees, since Christie works for RQ with Brian, although she works in Jacksonville, FL. It was fun to have everyone shower her, even though she’s a remote employee, and a lot of them haven’t ever met her in person, even though they’ve worked with her for almost a year now.
We had a pretty full next day, right before Christie left, due to a large wildfire that happened here on base. Apparently, the story is that it started on the Cuban side, and it started setting off the remaining land mines that are in between their border and our base. I heard an explosion in the morning, and it shook the house. Being from California, at first, I thought it was an earthquake. However, then I realized the house didn’t continue to shake and thought “oh no! I think we’re being bombed!”. I mean, this is a real possibility. We are living on an important military base, and it wouldn’t be out of the possibilities. We knew that when we moved here. However, thank God, we weren’t being bombed, but the fire, as it was spreading, was so hot that it was setting off the land mines along the border.
The wind picked up overnight, and so the next day the fire started getting out of control, and it required us to evacuate. We had time to pack because Brian had heard we might need to evacuate, so that was good, but then pretty quick, the guards came and pounded on our door saying we needed to leave the house immediately. It was kind of scary. I was glad that we had previously packed. But you wonder, what should we bring? We don’t have very many important things here, but I sure would not like to spend all the time replacing the items if the house burned down.
It was strange, since this evacuation was done differently than a hurricane evacuation. Only one part of the base (where family housing is) was affected by the fires, where as in a hurricane, everything on the base is closed down, so you can’t even go to the store. Since Christie still had her hotel here for the evening and it was far enough from the fire, we didn’t have to go to the evacuation center, and so we made dinner at her hotel and then a few hours later stated we were able to return to our house for the evening.
Thankfully, our house didn’t burn, and although the fire was close, it wasn’t that close. They were able to put it out within the next 5 hours or so, and saved the base! Hurray!
The other fun thing we did was go to the Black History Month heritage festival. They had a great program! I wish more people had known about it and came, as we were able to sample some different types of cuisine from different areas, learn about the Black medal of honor recipients, and enjoy hearing the school band play some songs. I’m glad we got to go!