Sunday, December 4, 2011


The Luna guys had to wake up very early to catch the bus to head home as the kids have school this week.  I got up too to pack.  The bus left at 8am - they just made it!
Kendra and I had breakfast at the Paraguayan base with the Catholic Deacon and Captain Florentin.  They gave us a heads up that the two Colonels were going to invite us to stay the week there.  The US Embassy sent out a safety reminder and when they found out the place we were staying didn't have armed guards, they insisted.
Met with the Colonels in Col Rojas' office.  We went back and forth with them about staying and came to an understanding.  This is actually a sweet deal for us because we get free food, they've agreed to let Susan and Omar stay when they get here, the location is closer to town, and we can come and go as we please.
We were going to stay at Russ and Sherry's house where we stayed last trip.  Everything would have been great there too, but for a few days we would be outside in a tent.  We are so grateful for the friendship of our overprotective friends.  Another reason we believe they have asked us to stay is so that they can connect us with the advanced team that is coming Tuesday night from the new group.  Our friends leave December 23, but 13 people from the new team are coming to observe before they take over.
Packed up our container, had lunch, and then the Deacon came to talk with Kendra about theology.  It is a conversation they recently started when a group of them visited the Luna family in the DR.  This means I took a nap and wow, what a nap it was!  
Got up and they asked us to take a walk while they moved our stuff to a new container.  What service - I could get used to this hospitality!  Kendra and I walked on the common road between all the different countries' bases and by the time we got back all our stuff had been moved and the new place was set up.
A few guys were playing volleyball and the net was held up between two giant trucks.  It was funny.  Our new place is located on the outskirts of all the containers right next door to the "gun shed".  This is where they house all their weapons.  Pistols, machine guns, rifles, you name it.  It is the only container that is fenced and padlocked.
Got things in order for tomorrow and went to Catholic Mass (only church service held on base).

Had dinner in the dining hall container.  We sit at the smaller table with the Colonels.  The protocol is really fascinating.  After being here a few days we've picked up a lot about the pecking order.  Also, when a Colonel is talking to the group, people must be silent.  If one of the two Colonels is talking to us at a meal, no one can approach us until he is finished.  Our friends who aren't at least Majors (there are only 3 Majors on base) can't sit with us during meals unless specially invited ahead of time (which is basically never).  This is only true in the presence of Colonels.  Very good stuff!
Did you know there is time out for adults?  In the UN military there is a spot they actually send people on base to sit..for hours.  Hmm.
Since many Paraguayans have become personal friends with the Luna family and I, I feel much safer here than the other places we've stayed.  They are so close with the Lunas that many of them have stayed at their home in Jarabacoa for anywhere from a long weekend to a week.
Our friends let us use the administrative office to send a few emails until the Internet is fixed tomorrow.
Today was a bit slow (for Haiti!) but tomorrow is Monday and that's when the hard work and long days begin!

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