Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Journey Has Begun... Take it all in :D

I am in the morale section of our office building where people can use computers to check email/facebook/blog, whatever they like on break. There are four computers and two phones that we can use for "morale." How AWESOME is that?! Way more than I expected and I am so thankful for the provision. The only problem is, I'm sitting here writing and all of the sudden it reeks!!! There is a guy two computers away from me and I KNOW he just farted and it is rank!!! ugh. Seriously?!? I guess he didn't have enough break time to check his email AND go to the bathroom. No apology, no regret, nothing. He's sitting there like nothing happened, while I sit here trying to take short breaths through my mouth (which grosses me out too but at least I don't have to smell the awful stench) so I don't gag! The smell is starting to fade so I digress.....

It took me two and a half days to get to Camp Speicher but I have arrived! I was in Balad for a couple days, which really got me spoiled (as mentioned in my previous blog). But Speicher is nice and I am getting settled in just fine! My helicopter ride in was awesome. It was about 1:45 -2:00am by the time I finally got on a flight Wed night/Thurs morning, which ever you consider it. They put me on a Chinook (big helicopter). I was the first on from our group although there were already people on the "bird" sitting in their seats. One of the crew told me to come with him (I totally thought he was going to tell me I had too many bags and had to wait until the next flight). I followed and he started signaling something to me. What, I had no clue at first. I thought he was saying he was going to sit up in this seat next to the pilots and I motioned, ok and went back to what I thought was my seat. As I turned to sit down, I saw he had followed me and motioned to come back. I walked back over with him as he tried to scream over the roaring of the helicopter blades and engine turning in the background. I heard nothing but again thought he was saying he was going to sit up front. I yelled OK with a big thumbs up. He held out his hand as if to help me into that seat. "OOOOOH, you want me to sit there??" He sighed in relief and nodded his head. It was obvious I was not going to be able to talk this one out with him and explain that I am scared of heights and a nervous flyer. So I complied and climbed up to the front with the pilots.... very reluctantly.

I sat there after I put on my seat belt and made SURE that it was secure and wondered how does this stuff happen to me. And then I said "Katie, if you don't die this is going to be an unforgettable ride, so ignore your fears and take it all in!" It took me a while but we made 2 stops before Speicher so by the last one, I was able to let go of the bars in front of me and talk with the pilots. They had given me a head set after the first stop because they noticed I was, well, frantic. Have you ever been in a Chinook while taking off ... to me it felt like the God was lifting us up by the tail with a string, so the nose (where I was sitting) is looking straight at the ground. Almost like Drop Zone at Kings Dominion but you're looking down at the ground. Probably fun for people that dont' wonder how however many TONS of metal can fly through the air with no problem. But for us laymen, who are scared of heights. Not my idea of a "quick flight" to Speicher! Maybe God is teaching me trust ;) But all in all, it was an awesome experience. I talked with the pilots the rest of the flight and by the end of it I was enjoying the ride..... Until they thought it'd be funny to jerk my chain a little. Here's how it went:

Pilot 1 "There's a strong cross wind out tonight, could be a rough landing."
a few seconds later
Pilot 2 "UH OH!! Oh Crap!!"
I shut my eyes, grasped the bar in front of me and stopped talking so they could concentrate on keeping us alive. All of the sudden I hear them laughing and I could tell they had huge grins underneath their masks. I pressed my little talk button "You all are NOT funny." The chuckled a little more and then said that everything was fine and we'd be on the ground in 20 seconds. If they hadn't been flying the helicopter I would've hit 'em both in the back of the head.

That ride will be one I won't soon forget! I have more stories and pics but I left my camera cord at Victory and have to wait for them to send it to me so I can download them to my computer. So for now, I'm signing off and getting back to work!!!!

1 comment:

dolostone said...

WOW KATIE. That sounds like one KICK -@&& ride! Thanks for sharing your experiences. We are definitely keeping you in prayer. I am imagining an angel with a flaming sword encircling you at all times.
Please continue to post. I will do my best to read them.