Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Yesterday was the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the NEX.  It was about an hour and a half and included various singing, dance, cheer and band performances by the local children.  I only managed to snag a few pics and completely forgot to take a picture of the actual Christmas Tree!

The event started with the arrival of Santa via a decorated golf cart and then sat on his chair to observe all the festivities.

A couple of our cuties sang with the Chapel Youth Choir.  Notice Tori is the only girl not wearing a dress?  Well, for some strange reason, she didn't want to wear a beautiful dress yesterday.  For anyone who knows her, they would know that this behavior is completely anti-Tori.  Usually for her, everyday is princess day and she jumps at the chance to get dressed up.  Oh well.

I think my favorite part of the day was the sense of community.  For events like this, much of the community shows up.  It's the thing to do.  Guantanamo Bay is sometimes referred to as "The World's Largest Gated Community" and I'd say that is a pretty accurate description.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two Minutes

Two minutes used to be the amount of time it took to drive out of my neighborhood.

Now two minutes is the amount of time it takes to drive to the following places:

  • Vic's work
  • The store
  • The gas station
  • Starbucks 
  • All the Restaurants available to us
  • Soccer
  • The Library
  • The Gym
  • Swimming Pool
  • Church
  • The Bank
  • The Movie Theater
  • Post Office
  • The Bowling Alley
  • The Marina
Do I like it here?  Um, yes!  Is my life less stressful?  Most definitely! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all from us in Guantanamo Bay!

We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal here at our home and had several guests join us.  Our guests  included two of Vic's Jamaican co-workers, two young service men, a woman who is a pediatrician and currently residing in Brazil as a missionary (she is here visiting a friend) and a man born in Afghanistan who works as an interpreter here and goes to church with us.  It was so wonderful to have so many different people from various backgrounds.  Many stories were shared.  One of the most enjoyable experiences for me being here has been being able to interact with so many different people from so many cultures.  There is so much to learn if one is simply willing to listen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fishing Fun

I have officially joined the ranks of those who love fishing!  Check out the pic below and it will probably be apparent as to why.

The large fish at the top of the picture is a Horse-Eyed Jack and weighs about 7lbs.  I snagged this guy on my pole, but I don't have the skills necessary to land a fish this big just yet.  I quickly handed the pole over to Vic and watched the struggle ensue.  This guy fought hard and Vic spent a good 10 minutes wearing him out before finally winning the fight and bringing him ashore.

The rest of the fish are all varieties of Snapper and include Red, Yellow Tail and Mutton.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

With 90 degree weather, it didn't quite feel right, but we took a trip to the pumpkin patch here sponsored by the Youth Center.  Hayrides, bouncy castles and rock climbing walls were among the fun activities offered there.  Pumpkins were plentiful and there were more than enough to go around.  In fact, each person in our family was able to bring one home!  The best part?  You guessed it: totally free!  If we had bought 8 pumpkins at a pumpkin patch in the U.S., I'm guessing it would've been nearly $100.  I actually have never bought one at a patch before so I'm not totally sure about that, but I'm guessing they must be between $10-$20 each, right?

Actually, we only brought home 7 pumpkins.  Somehow, in the excitement, Tori forgot to pick out a pumpkin and by the time we realized it, we were already home.  She and Vincent ended up agreeing to share one.  Since I'm not an artist in any form, I cooked mine and made pumpkin butter out of it.  Yum!  Everyone else carved theirs up.  Pumpkin carving in our family is serious business and hours are spent perfecting each one.  Vic is the mastermind behind it all and usually ends up doing most of the work.  Jordan and Alana though each fully carved their own this year.  Victor Jr. did most of his and Celina was able to do her entire outline.  Jordan's pumpkin is missing from the photos because she took longer to finish hers, but she did Yoda and it was so great!  I wish that I had a picture of it.

Here they are all lit up with a string of lights instead of the traditional candles.  

 Vic carved a boxer in honor of our Tyson

Alana carved this Mocking Jay, from the book, Hunger Games

Celina chose Tinkerbell

Victor Jr. worked almost as hard on his Call of Duty: Black Ops pumpkin almost 
as he works on the actual video game!

And finally, Vic carved the Avengers symbol for Vincent and Tori