Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Day on the Islands

Valerie and Me in Front of a Pacific Breaker
by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

My new roommate, Valerie Seitz, arrived on Okinawa from Luke Air Force Base last Thursday, and she will begin working at Kadena Air Base on Tuesday morning following the Martin Luther King holiday.   She is staying with me until she gets oriented to the island and is ready to strike out on her own.  We have had fun seeing the island for the first time through her eyes, and she has made me some wonderful meals!

Today all of my running buddies (Murphy, Nefredia, and Kelly) took Valerie over to the Pacific side of the island and even crossed some bridges to a couple of small neighboring islands.  I had never been to those islands myself, so I really enjoyed the new sights.

L to R:  Nefredia Covington, Valerie Seitz, and
Kelly Vought
Enroute to the islands we visited Kelly's house and Nefredia's apartment, both of which gave Valerie some idea as to prices and locations of housing, as well as different styles of housing.  She is developing a list of things that she will be looking for when she goes shopping for her own place.  (The homes tour highlight for me was seeing the drain pipe that exits beneath Kelly's house onto her driveway.  A mongoose lives in the pipe, but he comes out occasionally and poops in front of it - which she dutifully sweeps away.  Damn, I miss my little farm!)

Our lunch was at a small cafe that was in the middle of an Okinawan graveyard.  It had an amazing view of the Pacific - with a pair of binoculars at our table - which was made out of a boat.  Willie Nelson sang Moonlight in Vermont in the background, while the cafe cat roamed among the tables looking for food.  I sipped an Orion beer while my friends ate some concoction made of spam and rice.  (Spam is very big among Okinawans - saves on cats, I suppose.)
Kelly Vought and Daniel Murphy, PhD
Wishing They Were Fishing!

Our final stop on the islands was at a resort that had a dirt bike track and a  racing go-kart track.  We watched some daring young men do some amazing driving.

After the day on the islands, we had dinner at Orange, a restaurant near Murphy's apartment.  Cats roam around that restaurant also looking for handouts - and even jump on the occasional table.  But, surprisingly, it is a nice restaurant!

Mongoose Poop on Kelly's Driveway!

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