Saturday, August 1, 2009

About Darn Time

Guess what folks I am almost on my way home I will be there on the 6th. Hard to believe that an entire summer has gone by. So I thought I would write the things that I was able to accomplish: I was able to finish up the one class that I didn't have to drop when I left, and start and almost finished THREE more. I have a couple B's and two A's I am so happy. Now I have two classes to take to finish my degree and start on my Masters Program.
So next I was able to chalk another deployment in my military career.
I spent some valuable time helping the good people on Jolo, although they are destitute, they will do most anything to stay head above water.
I went on five MEDCAPs taking pictures along the way and assisting in various ways that I thought I would never see in my lifetime.
I made some new friends.
I pissed a few people off. Nothing really changed there.
I have read a few books and actually was interested and enjoyed them. Although I couldn't bring myself to finish Harry Potter.
I had a super really awesome totally righteous gift made for my wife to be presented on our 20th Anniversary, don't even try to will have to wait. And it only cost 35,000P.
I was able to go shopping downtown Jolo and met some interesting people and see the hustle and bustle of the big city. lol
I witnessed the craftsmanship of the Phils in their buildings.
I was finally able to go to an island and then to the beach and was able to snorkel.
I flew on a helicopter for the first time.
I shot a 9mm for the first time.
I drove a Hummer for the first time
I went on a convoy with the army for the first time.
I missed a great summer in Alaska!
I ate octopus for the first time.
I received tons of packages and a really nice one from Marti Goldburg who sent 40 letters full of candy bars for the troops here.
I had a great work out almost everyday and lost 20 pounds to boot.
I for the most part had a good time. There were some times I wish I didn't come here but all in all it wasn't too bad. The best part is I will have a loving wife and children to go home to. Most of all I missed them and just being home. I was sick several times too, maybe that had something to do with missing the family.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Down Town Jolo

For such a small island this place is bustling busy. The streets are packed with people all day long and this is just one of the streets, although this one isn't very busy. I don't know where they come from or what they are all doing I just know every day is like this. I bought some watches at one of the shops they were cheap but I don't know how they survive I don't think they sell that much. They were surprised when I bought four of them two are knock offs the other two I believe to be authentic, even still I paid P800 which is about $8.

Still looking for a place to go shopping in Manila if anyone knows of a place specifically with cheap stuff. Let me know.

Homeward Bound...Shortly

I'll be home for Christmas just you wait and see, in fact I'll be home for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Yom Kippur need I go on? I'll be heading out on a jet plane don't think I'll be back again!!?
So I started to get ready and low and behold my big suitcase is full already and I haven't even packed any of my stuff. I think maybe I will donate some stuff to the locals, shoes, cloths, no undies though. I'm burnin' those things. Well I went out on another mall run and was cut short by some gun fire down the street. Our escort wanted to go anyways, so they got their way. I hope to do some shopping in Manila too. Well I was able to get some things today despite having to come home early. I got some watches, shirts and a couple more purses for Jen. Gucci this time, I think they are authentic too they are real leather not vinyl. Anyway if anybody knows of a good place to shop in Manila let me know!! Thanks.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ha Ha Jen! Check Out My Purse

Well I shouldn't show this because Jen will see this. I should make it a surprise for her when I get home, 20 MORE DAYS. Any way I went to the mall here in Jolo again and did some shoppin'. I did much better this time, since I new how to haggle with the shop keepers. So I stumbled across this purse I'm sure Jen would love and being the greatest husband in the world I bought it for her. But the one that will be a surprise will be the one that matches her new shoes that just jumped in to her cart a Target.
The thing is I don't think this is a knock off it is real leather. The best part is that I only paid about $9 for it. Tell me what you think, and Jen you will have to wait for Christmas...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Part of History

OK, I told Jen I was going to go to bed since it is 3AM, but couldn't wait to put this on my blog. I can't believe what just happened. I just finished a Poly Sci test on-line, said my prayers and snuggled into bed. Then the door bell rang, good news the hostage that was kidnapped in January was released and they wanted us to go and give him a bill of good health. It was very exciting to see him, although I never met him. He is a spunky 62 year old.
We ended up hearing all about his captors dragging him through the jungle and all the fire fights he was caught up in. He said he just curled up in to the fetal position and covered his ears. What a scary thing that must have been. I am glad he is safe and back in the real world.
This one is a little blurry but you can recognize my shinny dome.I am sure he was sick of all the cameras and such going on and the reporters in his face etc.
I took this one and he looked up at me as to say enough. But he was just so happy to be free. Dwight was pretty happy too, this is what he was hoping to do, he got his wish.And we were all able to welcome him back with thanks to the Lord.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ford Rules My 62 Ford Galaxie

It has been along time since I mentioned anything about Sherrie my other child. Actually Jen is the one that fell in love with her and allowed me to buy her. She is the reason I love Ford vehicles so much.

I went to an auction during lunch one day, I had to get back to work and couldn't wait for this beautiful 1962 Ford Galaxie to be auctioned. So I put in a sealed bid for about $1200. As you can imagine I did not win the bidding. The very next day I was driving around in south Wichita (Kansas) and saw her. She was in a used car dealership, a really run down dealership. I had to save her. I was so excited that I had to bring Jen to see her. As soon as we were in eye sight of her Jen said "Oh yes, she is beautiful". So I went in and talked to the guys and they wanted like $2000. So I talked to them some more and we looked at her, she was in pretty descent shape except for the 77 Lincoln front seat she had mounted in her. I tell you what...the kids now days. Anyway she was running kinda ruff and the guy said we will have to tune her up and fixer' up before we sell her to you. I said well you know I was going to lay down 1500 cash and drive her away tonight. He looked at me then the books for a second and said deal, as is no repairs. I said none will be needed. So I drove her off the lot that night.

Jen really fell in love even more when she followed me home (to give you a heads up one of her favorite movies is Greese) as I pulled out of the lot flames shot out of the tail pipes about a foot long. She got so excited cause she thought I did that on purpose. Little did Jen know that Sherrie needed a tune up. But I had a ball driving her. She originally came with a 292 Y block Thunderbird engine, and three in the tree. I could actually chirp the tires from a stand still (by the way that is not very impressive).

I wanted to go get her filled up and went to a gas station near our house in College Hill. I got "the look" everywhere I went and still do by the way, even more so now. As I pulled out of the gas station she gave no indication that she was going to stall the next time I stopped which was about 50 feet down the road. I had to wait for someone to turn. Well she stalled and would not start for the life of me. As I was sitting there a pregnant woman pulled up behind me and waited too. cars were passing in the lane next to us an I could see that I was tying up traffic. It gets worse, someone slammed in to the cars behind me and hit the pregnant woman. I was more concerned about her than the car and called the police and went to check on her of course I didn't know she was pregnant until I went back to see her in her car. After the police got there they allowed me to get Sherrie pushed into a lot across the street and then I was able to find that the coil wire mysteriously popped off. How that happened I have no clue I drove for about five miles to get to the gas station and didn't have any problems. As soon as I connected the wire I drove off and the rest is history.

These pics are of her after I painted her, new rims, front disc brakes, air bags all around, new upholstery (I did myself), and a big bad 390 FE engine transplant that I also did myself. Now I not only chirp the tires I leave quit extensive peel outs, and on occasion dump my drive line (twice now too much power).

Ok so the pics didn't turn out I tried stealing them from my older blogs. But you can go to the 08 series of my blogs and check out all the old posts and see Sherrie.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fathers Day Part II

I finally got a chance to use my gift and wear my new tee shirt. FORD Rules! They arrived a little later than the pancake mix, so I had to make more pancakes to break in my new apron. Thanks Jen, It's great! All this after yesterdays episode of Dengue Fever. Our Doc here is very concerned about me and getting Malaria and Dengue fever. And rightly so I get bit all the time even after I spray myself with insect repellent. The dogs here follow me everywhere too maybe it's my attractive personality? Or it could be I smell bad? Whatever it is I am tired of it. I was laid up in bed all day yesterday and didn't eat anything. I am feeling a little better today, but I will still take it easy...or anyway I can get it. lol
Hope you all enjoy Independence Day. Of course we can't celebrate the usual way here. They would think it was another attack. Then we would be in trouble.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Homeward Bound

Only a few more weeks! Hope you enjoy this video I made it in respects to me arriving home soon. I had forgotten about this being Williams song. As Jen reminded me. This was sung by a good friend at his funeral.
I listened to the words closely and thought it would make a great missionary song too. I put my twist on it as I am herein the PI mostly for the humanitarian aspect. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Poor Monkey

I think I mentioned before that there are a couple of monkeys at the Trauma Center, Diane and Roger. Diane has been there for some time and is pretty much accustomed to all the people that come around to see her. About a few weeks ago another one came into the picture. I think the intentions were to have them mate. I don't know if that was successful or not but it may not be a viable thing now. Poor Roger went and bit a little girl on the face and ended up shot. He was fortunate not to get killed but it might have been better for him if he was dead he is in a miserable state. We had a good time going over and poking fun at him and getting him to flex his muscles so to speak, before this incident. Both monkeys are so cute you just want to let them climb on you and pet them. Roger is so bored now sitting in his cast not moving at all except for his one free hand and head. The orthopedic surgeon said he has a fractured femur. Yes his testies are about a hundred times the normal size. That is normal when you get shot in that area. I am surprised also that the father of the little girl that shot him didn't finish him off. Roger is very be alive that is...his current condition not so lucky.

After visiting Roger; Greg and I played some badminton. We kick butt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The New Candy Man

Here it is the long awaited candy bombing. This was taken at the Medcap a few weeks ago. We were done giving out meds and check-ups, got a little bored and gave out some candy. The kids had been hanging around just waiting for this to happen. Either they like the candy I had or they just like bald guys. It's probably because I look like such a push over (by the way I'm glad they didn't push me over). They swarmed around me like this was the last bag of candy on the planet and it just happened to be here in Jolo. I had a good time and it was worth the 100 P that I paid for the candy.
Greg had fun too. Notice the girls liked him. He is not as intimidating as I am.
So when all was said and done every piece of candy we handed out the wrapper ended up on the ground, and all the kids had left. Nothing would have led you to believe the U.S. was here except the abundance of candy wrappers left.
Refer to my post about the medcap by the Islamic school. You will be able to see these kids up close.
All in all this really made my day, besides finding the mall, so I could shop for Jen my sweetheart.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

The mail here is so mixed up and slow that I received the second box before the first box Jen sent. Fortunately the card and Fathers Day breakfast were in the box I received. I hope to get the other box today, but that may not happen cause we were attacked this morning. We scared them off though. All morning the helicopters have been flying over us so I didn't get to sleep in on Fathers Day either. So I was a good father to the guys here and made breakfast for them I can't believe how good they turned out. The pancakes were the best I ever made. They weren't rubbery, and so thick that you couldn't eat them. I ate four of them and was not as full as I usually am. So heres hopen that I get something today but is Sunday too.

To The Bat Cooler Robin

My friends over at the FISGA house found a little bat in the roof of their house. So they gave him a new home in a cooler. I went over to do my laundry and they said "check out our new mascot" I was very surprised to see a little bat in the cooler. I could get him to talk by making kissy noises to him. He was kind of cute he looked like our little Ricky (chihuahua), but with wings.

I you remember from an earlier post I tried to get some bats on video as you saw that didn't turn out very good. This is my interview with a fruit bat.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

World War II and Jolo War II

We had a Medcap today to check out some of the WW II vets that are on the island and their families. Saw them and enjoyed a very hot day under a canopy. Stars and Strips was there as well. So look for us in the next coming months.
It was a pleasant day until...wouldn't you know it we had another fire fight. This time we lost more of our cohorts and were able to treat 9 injured. They are taking quite a beating but showing good spirit. All these guys are around us on a daily basis and we see them all the time here on camp. It is hard to see them come back this way.
We were also able to get into action; the surgeon and I did an exploratory laporotomy. One of the Marines was shot in the pelvic region still don't know if it was twice or not but he was bleeding pretty bad and rushed him to the OR as fast as we could. If you're squeamish don't look.
It is just the surgery not the other guys.

We were fortunate to save his life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WOW! Candy Time in the PI

Wow is all I can say to the Chugach Stake Young Men and Young Women! Well a couple of weeks ago Sis. Marti Goldberg got all of her youngsters together for a combined activity and sent some sweets to the Soldiers here in the PI.
I received those packs today and distributed about twenty, of the forty they made. I was so very impressed and just as surprised at the reception these big guys gave to the letters that came with the sweets. Watch out for the snake!

Every one of them was very appreciative and happy to receive. It broke up the monotony of being stuck on the camp and not being able to do much more than run security, work out, eat, sleep and get eaten by mosquitoes. I must say they all got a chuckle out of them. Here are some of the results. Of course I had to get into the action.
I had to put this guy in here. Jing does not smile very often but I got one out of him. Thank you Marti!

Trauma Day From...

They are at it again. We had to go help at the trauma center here; there was a fire fight for which we did loose a couple but we got the better of them. Several other counter parts were hit, but not too badly. This one was shot in the ankle.
I remember once when I had to go on a call for a death note in Wasilla as the Alaska State Trooper Chaplain, and the guy's phone kept ringing. Fortunately we couldn't answer it, what would we say anyway? Sure enough all the Phils here have cells and they love to text each other. Needles to say these phones were "ringing off the hook" too.

This is a very sad thing to see. Even tougher are the guys that were out to battle with them, made it back in time to help bring them into the center.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Holy Flying Lizards Batman

Have you ever seen a flying lizard? This one didn't know who he was flying too close to. Greg picked him up after he flew in to a drainage ditch. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. He could be a baby dragon! OK maybe not, but he is really cool. And very colorful, his body was green and when his wings were open they looked like Monarch Butterflies.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

MEDCAP #2 Part 2

These girls were are interpreters while seeing patients. They are recent nursing student graduates. They graduated from the local Nortre Dame Jolo. Unfortunately they have no real experience. But they are very eager and helpful. The one in the middle sitting is the one I asked to go get some candy for the kids. I gave her 100P and she and the girl she went with came back with a bag full of gum and candy. (still waiting for the pics)
This is Jim with a patient and his interpreter for the day. He tried getting her to listen to heart and lung sounds as much as he could.

Here is Greg with his interpreter and a forty five year old woman patient.
This is the window I was talking about yesterday. The window almost lines up with the one in the school and I was able to lean out and get these pics. This is what I originally saw out the window then when I leaned out I saw the next pic. I tried to haggle with the store owner by the window but she didn't speak english at all. She did speak money though.

She wanted 350P for the purse that is hanging on the right. I believe it was a knock off as the price is equivalent to $7. I am trying to get out to the market with one of the army guys but I am not allowed to go by myself.
This was the Mall. It was not very big but this is the biggest in Jolo.


This was an early start to a long day we had to meet at 0645 to get to Jolo downtown and set up for a 0900 ceremony start; we did and stood around for two hours before it actually started. It was good to get out and see the kids and parts of town that we haven't seen before. Some of it though we could have done without.
This woman noticed me on the balcony after she was done breastfeeding her kid. She was so excited to see me up there she kept pointing and having her kids wave to me. So they were all to happy to pose for a picture. They love to have there pictures taken.
The sign is for an Elementary school I don't know why they had to point out what we would think to be obvious.

We were disappointed by what the water looked like and not one soul cared. While we were standing by the edge of what looked like a pool of human waste, we witnessed the trash from our medcap being dumped in to the water. The water is THE OCEAN front with tons of homes built right there. The burnt posts sticking out of the water is the remnants of the a house that burned in Mar of 08'. The owners now live in the house on the far left.
Here are some cuties that hung around me and posed for pics all morning. I became more popular when I bought a hundred pesos worth of candy and handed it out with a couple of my cohorts.
I think the kids liked looking at my braces too. They kept trying to get me to smile, which I love to do anyhow. I have the pics of the candy giving coming to me by one of the army guys that went with us. As soon as he sends them to me I will post them. They literally attacked me it was crazy to say the least. I kept looking down at my weapon to see if it was still there because they were bumping into me trying to get the candy I had. I think I will dub myself the new candy bomber like the one from WWII. Which by the way was LDS too. We had his grandson in our ward in California.
So we processed about 300 people today and gave away tons of meds and the ever popular tooth brushes. They like to get them but I'm afraid they don't know how to use them. We ended up having a good time and while doing some good. I can't wait till the next one.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Fun is Over Again

Well it's not all fun and games here. This was yesterdays events, we have two guys with open abdomens fractured leg and chest tubes. We had our air medics come down and pick them up to take back to the 21st century. We did the work down in the Phil Trauma Center. I think they will make it.