KOREA 1–THE FIRST DAY

I awoke to a repeat of the previous evening—a misty drizzle mildly attacking the blooming cherry blossoms, producing a carpeting of pink petals on the walkways throughout the airbase. The base itself is very unmilitary-appearing, more like a modern city built on and among the many hills in the area. Numerous apartment “towers” are interspersed with military office and service buildings, but all constructed to a similar theme of beige and modernity, and meticulously landscaped with a variety of trees, shrubs, bushes, and lawns. I walked to the Osan Elementary School, to gauge how long it would take to get there if “my team” and I decide not to ride; it was about 15 minutes.

              I became extremely frustrated in attempting to enter the Commissary, and later the Base Exchange, to make some small purchases. It seems that my travel orders and passport are not sufficient to provide entry and purchasing, unlike all the other military bases I have visited. Local history describes some major “Black Marketing” of goods purchased through the local sources and then re-sold; now each person must have an official Ration Card or at least a specific stamp on travel orders, in order to be able to purchase or even to enter some of the retailers. Apparently this was only a problem at Korean military installations. I was unable to buy my usual large container of orange juice, so tomorrow I’ll just have to suffer until it’s time for breakfast.

Another problem is the modem in my room; it supposedly is geared for my room only but it seems to be having some issues with not having sufficient strength for me to receive and transmit. I had to go to the hotel lobby and access a different modem; I’ve just discovered that I can use the modem from a room down the hall so that hopefully, that problem is solved.

I met my Co-chair this evening when he arrived, from Indiana, and it looks like we shall form a really good team although there appears to be a bit of resentment over Peyton Manning’s move to the Broncos from the Colts. He doesn’t blame me, however. I can always refer back to Indiana U. having beaten Kansas for the NCAA championship in 1953, on a last second shot by Bob Leonard.

I’ve been able to sample some traditional food—next door at the traditional Chili’s, and in the BX Food Court at the traditional Taco Bell. Sometime this week we’ll get to some real Korean food! At least they allowed me to shower them with US $$$, without the usual ID packet.

Tomorrow we get a tour of the base, about 3 sq. miles. It’s an Air Force base and has F-18’s, A-10’s, and even the famous U-2 spy planes. So far, I’ve not heard any of them taking off, but I’m told that the latter is the noisiest of all of them. My Japan trip in March introduced me to the F-18’s, and I thought they were about as loud as anything I’ve ever heard. The final three members of my team arrive tomorrow, and we begin our official teaming in the afternoon. All of them are from other Dept. of Defense schools in the Pacific region, and their own schools will be going through the accreditation process next year. By being on a team this year, they learn what to do in preparation for their own accreditation activities next year.

My wife is on her way to Ft. Bragg today, to evaluate a school on that base. Lucky girl, she gets to see our grandsons for a day on her way home. Of course, she has to fly on United.

Always Be Happy                                                       To Our Youth…Always

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: