30.11.2009 - 05.12.2009 48 °F
I have told myself for the past 4 days that I need to update everyone on here but I have been totally stressed out and not in a mood to write. I'll try to fill in the best that I can....bear with me....
I spent a relaxing night in Chicago and slept well. Made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The flight to BWI went smoothly. On arrival to BWI I needed to find the USO office in order to find out where to go to check-in for the military transporter flight that was going to take me the rest of the way to Ramstien. There had been several 'army boys' on the flight from Chicago so I simple followed them when we got off the plane (assuming that they were headed to Ramstien), and I was right.
When I got to the USO office (right at baggage claim, if your interested), the lady behind the counter looked at me as if I were from another planet. It was quite obvious that I really didn't belong here, sans camo!! When I explained why I was there and showed my orders/emails/etc to prove that I was supposed to be there, she politely directed me on my way.
The check-in line for the flight was enormous! I was told that the plane hold 350 people and I think that 300 of them were in line in front of me! It actually went pretty quickly and seemed very well organized. It was interesting seeing major ammunition and multiple pistols and semi-automatic guns of all sorts being inspected in the line and ok'd for the flight! At least I feel safe on this flight...it isn't going down without one hell of a fight!! haha
During the wait, I met another civilian travel RN; Peggy. It was great to know that I wasn't completely alone! Peggy is Mormon, married with kids and from a military family so we don't have much in common other than the job, but she is nice and we shared some company waiting for the flight.
The military transporter flight was quite interesting. The kid behind me (about 12 y/o) was an annoying little shit and wouldn't let me sleep. I spent most of my time in-flight drinking at the back of the plane with two service-men (Grady and Dave). Life isn't all bad ;o)
I have spent my time since arrival in the most un-organized and frustrating 'in-processing' that I have ever experienced. It's been quite trying at best. My sponsor isn't a true civilian (she is married to military) so she doesn't really know everything that I need as a civilian. I do finally have my CAC card (have to have this to do anything here), so hopefully things will run a little smoother now.
Skype has been great! I have been able to call all my family at home and connect without any international fees (THANKS RANDALL)!! At least with skype, I don't feel completely alone here. And, I figured out how to text from the computer to phones in the US. I have a skype-in number that those of you at home can call to contact me, email me if you want the number. I won't talk on it (incoming) much because it does charge me but you can call me then I will call you back. I hope to have a real cell phone soon, so I will pass that info on as soon as available. In the mean-time, there is always the Red Cross if you really needed to contact me for an emergency! ;o)"
Today, I finally got off the base and explored the village of Landstuhl a little bit. It was nice to get off base for a little while. I am really liking the men:women ratio's here ;oP
Next weekend, I am planning to take a USO sponsored train trip to Trier to visit one of the Christmas Markets and indulge in some Gluswien (hot spiced wine, is what i'm told).
das Leben ist Schön
Life is Good