Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deployment Destination #3: Korea

If Matt had not reenlisted with the Marine Corps back in 2009, a few things wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have quit my job, we wouldn't know what it was like to live in Japan, and Matt wouldn't have ever gotten the chance to be deployed... for the third time... to the third country... in the past year. Maybe it hasn't been his dream of going to Afghanistan, but getting to see the world through month-long deployments isn't too shabby... especially when you get to stay in a 4 star hotel. Unfortunately, he wasn't as lucky this time.

As many of you know, Matt was doing a class out in Twentynine Palms, California for 6 weeks. I picked him up at the airport here in Okinawa on Tuesday night (February 15th), and was unexpectedly dropping him right back off to fly to Korea 48 hours later on Thursday night (February 17th). That's the Marine Corps for you.

South Korea is great for shopping... I actually had plans for a possible weekend trip to Seoul this summer. However, if you're visiting during the winter, be prepared to dress in layers and winter clothes - it is freezing! (Or so I hear from Matt). He's been wearing layers upon layers of government-issued cold weather gear, and he is still shivering outside. He's been working 16-hour days and sleeping in large tents with about 15 other Marines, all on cots. Lately, he's been so busy at work that he's been eating MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) instead of getting food from the Chow Hall! There is snow on the ground inside parts of his sleeping tent, and although there is a space-heater, it is apparently not strong enough to ever melt the snow inside the tent (if that gives you an idea of how "warm" it gets). And to get an internet connection, he goes to a spot with a strong signal... outside... in the snow. Any time I get to skype with him, I feel horrible, because he's standing outside freezing while I'm sitting in my nice, warm, comfortable apartment.
Matt in his cold-weather gear

His new home for the next month

Inside the tent

Running Fiber Optic Cable at work

The pro to all of this: beside the fact that Matt is getting to see yet another new country, he's also finally getting to live like a Marine. This is what they train them for. This is what other Marines before him have endured, and for much longer than one month! Although I don't think he'll be warm again untill he gets off the plane in Okinawa next month, I know he will be glad he got this experience.

Please keep Matt in your prayers!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Rain on my Parade

Although the "rainy season" isn't technically here yet, we've sure been getting a lot of rain this past month! Today's post is short and sweet - since I've been stuck indoors a lot lately, there isn't much for me to report on beside posting some cool photos of the Okinawan rain showers. I think I've previously mentioned that we have some of the most *amazing* skies here in Japan - the clouds and colors are incredible, and I always kick myself if I don't have my camera on me around sunset time - God's handiwork at its finest! Here are a couple shots from one of our many "secluded" island rain showers - one of my favorite things:) Just because you're being rained on in one spot, doesn't mean the sun isn't shining a few feet to the left! Enjoy!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coffee Casa

I think breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day, which is why it is so ironic that I am usually rushing through it as I am flying out the door to work morning after morning. The other weekend, I met up with some girlfriends at a new (well, new for me) little breakfast place right near the Sunabe Seawall called Coffee Casa. What an adorable place! Of course, like most restaurants in Okinawa, it isn't big - just a one-room little coffee house with a patio and outdoor tables in the front. However, the place was busy, and for good reason - it was the best breakfast I'd had in awhile!

My Cinnamon Chai came out in its own little teapot - I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the best Chai Latte I've ever had (yes, better than Starbucks). It was delicious!

The plate of thick-cut French Toast looks like a lot of food, but it really was the perfect amount. Again, the best French Toast I've ever had - it was sweet and browned on the outside and squishy in the middle. Top it off with fresh blueberries, bananas and homemade whipped cream, and you've got Heaven for breakfast. Also comes with the tiniest little syrup pourer;)

The girls

I'm stopping myself from running out to Coffee Casa right now! I can't wait to go back!