Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let the adventure begin!

Hello from Kuwait! I have started the process of R&R but, honestly, am more exhausted than I was prior to leaving Afghanistan. The whole process is a bit convoluted and confusing. Nate was teasing me about tracking his progress to Germany via Facebook, which gave me an idea for a post. Here are the updates I would have added to my Facebook page, if I had Internet on yesterday's journey:

9:15 a.m. (Friday)—Lori is on the way to check in for the flight to Kuwait (along with 150 of my newest friends); 30-minute wait for a 10-minute brief.

2:00 p.m.—Lori is back at the terminal for roll call. After relinquishing our ID cards, we are put in lockdown; can't leave the general area until our flight, which could take four to six hours.

3:30 p.m.—Lori is still waiting. I am sitting outside the USO (love these places), reading a book, all within a block of my office. I could still be working.

4:30 p.m.—Lori has finally turned in luggage for the trip. We are now sitting in the terminal, sequestered here until the flight, which is still three to four hours away.

6:00 p.m.—Lori is still waiting. We cannot leave for dinner, but are welcome to have Pizza Hut or Burger King delivered. No word on the flight.

8:00 p.m.—Lori is finally told to "form up" and "count off." We are initially missing 10 soldiers but, on recount, it appears to be human error. We are now told, "Hurry, you are late and the plane is waiting." HUH? We have been here all day and now we are late?

12:15 a.m. (Saturday)—Lori is finally in Kuwait. We are loading onto a bus to proceed to the R&R tent area. It is HOT here!

1:00 a.m.—Lori is waiting. I think I sense a developing theme. We are herded into one tent after another to fill out forms, review forms, turn in our body armor for storage—after filling out another form.

1:30 a.m.—Lori is waiting ... again. Most of the soldiers are going to the USA and they have separated them from those of us going elsewhere. Thankfully, one of the soldiers from my team is going to England, so I have company while I wait. We spend 30 minutes moving from office to office, frequently backtracking as someone prior didn't do something right. I am glad to have company as the fatigue and frustration start taking their toll.

2:30 a.m.—Lori is finally done waiting. I have a tent assignment, have found the bathroom and am settling down to sleep. Didn't occur to me to bring a sleeping bag. I end up with a fleece hat, sweatshirt, shorts, socks and my uniform blouse over me for a blanket. Still freezing.

5:30 a.m.—Lori is attempting to sleep. The lady in the bed next to me got up and took pity on me. Threw her sleeping bag over me as she has to go to a roll call for U.S. travelers. Finally, warm enough to sleep for a couple hours.

7:15 a.m.—Lori is up, looking for the gym and food.

How is that for a relaxing start to my leave? Actually, it is funny in hindsight. Lots of waiting, lots of frustration, but the end is near. I will be in Germany by tomorrow, beating Nate there by just a couple hours.

More to come, I am sure, as our European Adventure begins.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited for you, Lori. I can't imagine the anticipation.