Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Greetings From Japan

Some of you know my daughter and her family were recently transferred to Sasebo Japan.  And all of you know I was less than thrilled about that move, however, the US Navy department didn't ask me what I thought or where I wanted them to go.  Imagine that!  So I had to put my big girl panties on and deal with it; which hasn't been an easy chore.  On the other hand, I know it will be a great life experience for all three of them.  This post turned out to be quite lengthy... sorry!  I hope you enjoy the trip with them.

They began their journey last Friday morning from Phoenix, Arizona (where Kyle's parents live) and arrived in Honolulu approximately 7 hours later.  Hollie reports the flight was good and Raleigh slept most of the way.  When the plane was descending for landing, Raleigh screams really loud "We're going down!".  She didn't mean "we're going down" as in the plane was going to crash, just that they were going "down" as in a downward motion.  I'm sure her mother was mortified!

They had a 2 hour lay over in Hawaii and then on to their next destination of Tokyo Japan.  They arrived in Japan around 10:00 p.m. our time after 24 hours of travel.  Hollie reports "The flights here were nice and the airline was very accommodating. The food was great, and our flight to Japan offered ear plugs, ear phones for the featured movie, a sleep mask (which two days later Rals is still wearing lol), blanket and pillow. Very nice." 

Then the trip got a little scary for a couple of hours.  Here is an excerpt for an email Hollie sent me.  "When we arrived in Japan, we were told via email about a week ago that someone from Kyle's command would be waiting for us at the terminal. No such luck. After waiting about two hours, some extra prayers, a few tears and some breathing into a paper bag (me, not Kyle lol), we decided to go and ask for some help, or at least try to get to the US embassy because we were clueless as to what to do. The nice lady at the information booth spoke some broken English and after some hand gestures and lots of pointing (i was beginning to wonder when she was going to break out some paper and start drawing pictures) Kyle came back and said she told him we either needed to take a bus or Walk to a different terminal (40 mins away by foot) to get on a Navy bus that goes back to Sasebo (the base he is stationed at) and it leaves at 10 pm each night. We had so many bags that we at first decided to push our carts and walk, but then after some shady lighting and uneasiness about which direction we should go, we decided to combine our bags and see if we could carry them. We reduced our bag count by three and loaded up and got in a line for a bus that we were fairly certain would take us to the correct terminal. Again, wrong.
The bus driver asked us for something and we weren't sure so we started whipping out on passports and Kyle's ID and an on looker tried to explain what the bus driver wanted but finally he figured out Kyle was military so he exclaimed, "Navy!" And helped us grab our bag and walked us over to the correct line and after some pointing at the map and a three minute Japanese dissertation he left us there and walked away.
The bus came and some other people in line helped us get on and load our bags (the people are super friendly ). We rode the bus until it stopped and so we got off, still unsure. We collected our bags and began walking, and about 10 steps later a man approached us and asked us if we were the Kelly family.

He introduced himself and immediately called his friend (another person from Kyle's command) to bring the van around, and shortly the van pulls up and parks in the middle of the road. Our sponsor explained that you can pretty much do anything you want if you have your four way flashers on- run over grandma, park in the middle of an intersection, whatever u need, just put your flashers on.
It was about an hour and a half ride back to base, and we already had a hotel reservation so we checked in and went right to sleep."

She has sent me pictures and has a couple other stories but since this post is so long I'll wait a day or two to take you on a sight seeing tour of Sasebo.


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