Kids find fun in the strangest places...

The Kid was sooooooo very excited to volunteer to demonstrate how to properly don a gas mask (shown here is the model designed for 3-8 year-olds).  When the Ombudsman told us that they would ask for volunteers she was practically climbing the walls w/ anticipation of her big moment.  She looked like she should be in the movie Dune w/ her drinking tube.  She was also completely floored that I know how to properly don an adult gas mask, and made me tell her all about when we had to carry them around on our belts and be able to put them on if someone yelled "GAS GAS GAS".  The wonderful Master Sergeant also demonstrated how to use the infant version, which looked so completely complicated.  He assured us that in the 14 years he has spent over his career on the Peninsula that he has never seen occasion for gas masks yet.

The night of briefing we had to attend for NEO, which is a funny acronym I can't remember for the emergency evacuation and repatriation procedures that we would use in the event that we would have to flee the Peninsula as non-combatants, came the day after we finally got our SOFA stamps taken care of.  They helped us to check an make sure that our paperwork, which isn't a small amount, is all in order, and that we know where to go and how to get to a designated meeting place in case of said emergency.  We found out that the Army should have already issued us all masks to keep on hand w/ the rest of our gear (oops, Army, forgot something else, didn't ya?) and that we have a drill weekend coming up.  And here, I thought that I was finished w/ drill weekends when I was discharged.  LOL!  As overwhelming as it felt it was also reassuring to know that there is a very well organized system in place that seems to have thought of everything, even things that an overthinker like me didn't think of.

After the brief the MSgt sat w/ The Kid and I and he let her ask him about a nonillion questions (not all of them relevent) and he very patiently answered them in a way that was refreshing.  I can't stand it when people talk to children like they are complete morons.  He and the Assistant Chief of Station where The Guy works talked w/ us a bit about how our transfer went and if we are getting settled in (since The Guy was at work and couldn't be present).  The Ombudsman (I don't really know if they are called the same thing when they are Army spouses) took our email information and said she would be in touch to see if we needed anything in the future, and to include me in some family events.

The MSgt also told us about a lot of great things to do, including a huge recommendation for Disney Hong Kong (which is apparently extremely affordable compared to the parks in the US) and Jeju-do.  We had talked about going to Jeju-do, but weren't sure when was the best time, and he recommended Fall, right before school starts for the best weather.  Unfortunately the North bus tours to Kaesong aren't available anymore, and the DMZ tour is only available for people over ten, which was disappointing, especially since the Korean DMZ has a unique wildlife sanctuary in it, due to it being left untouched by humans for more than 50 years.  It has become a place where rare birds and animals previously thought extinct have been seen living.

I am definitely starting to feel like we have a community here, which is a good thing.  I have been so used to having extended family-like people around to count on in the past that it felt odd to not have that here.  It really is comforting.


Sarah said...

The gas mask kind of looks like a super complicated version of the Flow-bee... maybe one that also does your eyebrows... (trying to work in the reason for it covering your face)

Ouyang Dan said...

Ha ha! It was super complicated! Not at all like the one I had to carry around at boot camp!