Sunday, November 08, 2009

Back from Guantanamo...

Just got back from a week at Gitmo where I travelled with the band Bridge of Sighs documenting their performances on the military base. In his free time, band leader Tom Neely gave us a fantastic tour of the island and a glimpse into life on the base.

Some Gitmo fun facts: a $10,000 fine is issued to anyone who makes the mistake of killing an iguana. Iguanas run rampant on the base and are protected by the military. They also like to take their time crossing the streets.

Guantanamo is a great place to be if you like water sports. I was able to go snorkeling and night fishing on the trip. I also went go cart racing, hit at the batting cages and observed soldiers spend their leisure time playing kickball, softball, volleyball, flag football, weightlifting and swimming.

Getting to the base from Los Angeles is a commitment. It involves three flights, two bus rides and a ferry.

If I have an opportunity to go back, I'll definitely take it.


tankboy2902 said...

"Pearl of the Antilles", eh? So you're sticking with that? See, you VISITED Gitmo, you ain't BEEN to Gitmo. You know you've BEEN to Gitmo when you're ready to get the hell out. Actually, I shouldn't complain, because all the crappy Air Force bases are above the Artic Circle. Gonna try for Diego Garcia next?

Unless things have changed, those soldiers were Marines. They get grouchy (well,... more grouchy) when you confuse the two.

I spent my leisure time going to GQ, being at GQ, or securing from GQ. Obviously things have lightened up quite a bit there. (Not to worry, we made up for it with the usual bacchanalian shenanigans in Montego Bay.)

Getting to the base from Norfolk was easy. It involved one big-ass aircraft carrier. No one onboard looked like you (20 years ago). Only 5500 manly men, and the captain and admiral dared anyone to prove otherwise!

Laura Swisher said...

If someone arranges for me to travel to Diego Garcia, I'll go. I only learned the place existed on the trip to Gitmo.

I suspect the island's changed. All military branches are represented and I met folks in the Navy, Air Force, Army, JTF and...not sure if I met any Marines.

We didn't have access to the prisons at all and didn't have official media clearance. But it was a pretty fun time. Kept me busy.