28 January 2011

Getting Out

The best thing to do when you get to a new place is to get out!  Drive around and explore the area.  Make sure you have a good map or have a good GPS.  With each move we've made it's made all the difference.  Especially if you're overseas. 

I remember moving to the middle east, being 4 months pregnant.  We arrived on a flight where smoking was allowed.  It was awful, to say the least.  The night we arrived I was exhausted but my husband's new commander insisted we stay up and took us out to eat with the rest of the unit.  I ordered what was similar to a lasagna.  My husband ordered a traditional mid eastern dish.  That night in the hotel room he was sooo sick!  I've never seen someone so sick and I cried and cried.  I was exhausted and could still smell the smoke in the clothes I hung in the closet, my time clock was way out of wack, my husband was dying in the bathroom and I couldn't get to sleep.  I guess I eventually did and woke up when my husband kissed me good bye- he had to go in to work right away.  What was I supposed to do?  I knew no one, I was in a foreign country, was afraid to eat anything for fear of getting sick like my husband.  So I slept for a little longer.

My husband did call later to tell me a colleague's  wife was coming over to pick me up and take me to lunch.  She had two aunts visiting and we would all go out and explore.  The wife came with her eccentric aunts and we had a ball!  That was such a blessing!  This wife got me out and showed me all the fun places to see and we had a great lunch.  She drove all over the city and didn't think twice about it.  I was very impressed. 

After we moved in to our flat, she introduced me to her friends- some of them embassy wives and some international spouses who lived in the city (the capital) working for their own countries.  They mostly spoke English, but there were a few who didn't but there was always someone who could help translate.  We had so much fun!  I learned to play Bridge- they had a Bridge Club that met each week.

A few of the other wives from the unit didn't get out and I learned early on they were not happy living there.  They had covers on their peep holes, made sure the curtains weren't see through, and didn't go anywhere in a taxi or in a car.  They stayed in doors and tried to make the best of it, but it was so sad to see them unhappy.

I was, and to this day, so grateful to this wife who got me out of the hotel and out exploring.  Ever since that assignment I've made sure to help others who seemed a little unsure about their own assignments.  You really have to get out and get out right away.  Exploring and traveling around is a great benefit of being a military spouse!  I love it!

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