Sunday, October 21, 2012

First Dispatch; or, You Don't Get This in Texas.

Hola from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, our new home!
Yesterday I arrived around 1 pm (that would be 1300) and got to see much of the area. There are tons of iguanas here. And by iguanas, I mean huge, scaly creatures, not those homely little reptiles they sell at Petsmart (bless their little hearts). I don't have a camera yet, so just trust me when I say they are gargantuan. Or google "Guantanamo Bay" and "iguanas" (ignore the fact I am a librarian and just google it). Being from Mississippi, I thought the first one I saw was a little alligator. Yes, they are that big.
Anywho, yesterday I got to experience traffic stopping to let an iguana cross the road. I thought it was cute. In a few months, I probably won't think it's so cute.
You don't get iguana crossings in central Texas.
Also, "the actor playing the 'Most Interesting Man in the World' is coming to the NEX!" according to a sign outside the NEX/Commissary today. Not only do we get first-run movies at the outdoor theater for FREE every single night (yep, gratis), but we have celebrities at our grocery store.
Let's see HEB match that for awesomeness!
And now a big Hee-Haw style shout-out to my friends and family in Monticello, Mississippi, population 1,726 (SA-LUTE!). Growing up in a small town prepares you for a lifetime of creativity and resourcefulness when you have limited shopping options. I read dozens of bulletin boards, blogs, and forum postings about Gitmo before my arrival, and many folks lament the lack of proper shopping choices. There is only one grocery store (the Commissary) and one store for almost everything else (the NEX) and they are in one building. (Washington folks, think of a mini, mini, mini Fred Meyers). True, the options are limited, but really. . . the people complaining need to get a life. There are options. If you haven't lived in a really small town, you don't know that just the fact you have options is a plus. For the millionth time in my life, I will now declare that living in a small town will train you for living almost anywhere. And the people are nicer. If you don't believe me, visit Monticello, Mississippi, one day.
The speed limit tops out at 25 mph, internet wireless is excruciatingly slow, and there are 20 instead of 60 types of cereal. AND the sun is shining, the wind is blowing, the sea air is refreshing, and after I get off the internet at the public library (which has a cute children's room and an AMAZING selection of YA and adult literature, by the way), I'm headed for one of the local beaches to check things out. My neighbor has lent me a car (and also made sure I had lender furniture, linens, kitchen things, and food in my fridge). People are just that nice here.
So far, island life is really, really rough. *wink wink*
Can't wait until the 30th, when the boys all get to take the beautiful ferry ride across the bay and see our new home. Thanks to all of you for the well wishes, prayers, positive thoughts. And the advice from you peripatetic types has been invaluable. Thanks for being my inspiration and paving our way here!
XOXO, lori

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