Hello from beautiful Trinidad! Well, after a LONG 14 hour day of traveling yesterday that included a broken 146th CA ANG C-130J, a last minute C-130E subsitution from Puerto Rico, the usual ‘hurry up and wait’, a 1.5 hour flight that turned into 3 because of paperwork snafus in Guyana, being parked in the wrong space at the Trinidad airport and having to restart and reposition, hotel reservations being lost, and a $4 bottle of coke in the hotel, I’m finally here with approximately 35 Operation Southern Partner Airmen.
The day started early (like nearly every day this trip) and we all went to a standard Force Protection briefing to familiarize ourselves with the island, rules, areas to avoid, curfew times and the exchange schedule. There’s at least a dozen exchanges taking place with the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard and all involved couldn’t wait to get started. But today, I’ll let the Airmen get familiar with their counterparts while I head out into the city. We’ll catch up with them again tomorrow.
For those of you familiar with my FIDAE trip, or any of the volunteer activities I do back in the Bay Area, you will know that I love anything to do with kids. And today, members of the USAF Academy Band “Blue Steel” and I went to a local school to help put a fresh coat of paint on the buildings and give something back to the local community. We spent the entire day at the Las Lomas Government School painting the facilities orange (we didn’t pick the color) and found a few minutes to meet with some of the kids during various breaks in the day.