As I mentioned in my last post, being on deployment in a place that is in a time zone 5 hours later than your home, and where you are working odd and long shifts, really puts you into a timewarp. I will see if I can remember how things have gone down for the first few days officially on deployment.
My travel Buddy and I flew to New York, IN UNIFORM, through Dallas on the evening of Monday, November 12th, arriving midday Tuesday. I loved flying with my new pack and backpack, no checking of bags necessary. There was nobody in the Dallas airport at 5am, so I kicked off my boots and did some yoga… a little downward dog, handstand and headstand can do wonders after sitting for hours in an airplane.
I had found a Best Buy Express in Dallas airport, where I really wanted to get a camera. I let Ryan convince me not to get one, as ‘we would have time to get one later.’ That was mistake #1. I would have loved snapping a photo of the loooong line of yellow cabs outside La Guardia, just to start.
We arrived via cab at a hotel in Manhattan, right near Times Square, time of travel= 16 hours. Add in about 3 hours of waiting to hear what was going to happen while we met with fellow DMAT members from Alaska, got some food, and generally took over the lobby of the hotel. I think there were 30 or so people with all of their bags, camped out. I wish I had a picture of that!
Ryan and I were thinking: 1) we were on the same strike force; 2) we were going to get to stay at least the night in the hotel. So, we sauntered out to buy some toiletries and such for the 2 weeks. BUT, we got a notification to be ready to move at 3pm. At 2:50, as folks from the night before were checking out, I grabbed a girl’s room key and took a 5-minute shower, ran back down, and found out I was in a different strike force headed out to “the Rockaways.”
They found us a large bus and sent Strike Force 1 out. It took us 4 hours to get to South Nassau Communities Hospital, where the Florida-4 team was set up. They had taken over after the Washington-1 team left. Time of travel now= 24 hours or so. The FL-4 team wasn’t quite ready for us, but it didn’t take them long to set up 17 cots in a spare room in the hospital above the emergency room, complete with hospital bedding, pillows, and shelter blankets.
To be continued…..