Well, it's been a nice last couple of days - probably the most break I've gotten in the last 6 months. With nothing to do, life at Manas has been easy.
Nick's flight got in yesterday morning and we got to spend most of the day together, which was great. Nick seemed like he was doing really good and even stayed up with me until midnight so we could spend the most time possible together, but let me back up.
Nick's flight took off about the same time mine did which brought him to Manas about 3 AM. Knowing the integration process, I hit the snooze button for about an hour an a half (4:30 in the morning is the latest I've been able to sleep since I got here) and then headed out to try to track him down. Of course, having already done everything he was going to do, I knew exactly where to look. It didn't take long for me to find him and set up a rendezvous point at the local hot spot, Pete's Place.
Nick finally finished all his inprocessing (getting his bags, linens and a tent assignment) and met up with me around 8 AM. Being that there isn't a whole lot to do around the place, the next natural place to hit was the dining facility for breakfast - another hour killed. I had already set up a pedicure appointment for 9 AM (Kyrgies will do it for $10 here). I suggested that Nick go take a shower (you would be amazed at how sweaty you can get while trying to board a military flight) and change into his gym attire and then meet me back at Pete's for some intensive Internet surfing.
When I got done with my appointment, I found Nick skyping with his parents. We were able to kill another couple of hours at Pete's and then went to lunch - half a day killed. The rest of the afternoon we walked around, bought cell phones and generally just hung out. Around 3 PM, I started to hit my mid-afternoon crash (a normal event for me since I was only sleeping 4 hours a night), so I negotiated a 2 hour break before dinner. Amazingly, Nick was doing fine and I was the one wimping out. Of course, after Nick had already left, I went inside the tent to find it was a toasty 85 degrees. It was next to impossible to sleep, so I ended up just burning 2 hours of my Nick-time staring at the ceiling.
Anyway, we went to dinner around 6:30 PM and spent the rest of the evening together, until I finally had to drop my bags at around midnight. It really meant a lot to me that Nick was willing to stick around for so long considering he had just made a 22 hour flight and then had stayed up all day long with me. I think we both wanted to make the most of the time we had together, knowing that it might be a while before we were reunited again.
After we parted ways, I headed over to bag drop, only to find out that we were given the wrong flight time. So, here I am, having said my final Nick goodbyes (always emotional) with my stuff packed and moved about half a mile down the road, only to find out that our flight time had changed. The original plan was that after bag drop, everyone was going to watch the soccer game while we waited for our flight. Lacking imagination, despite not having a slight, everyone decided to stick to the original plan and head over to the dining facility to watch the game which started at 1230 AM our time.
Well, I made it to the end, watching the entire 120 minutes before going to bed around 3 AM. It was a full day and I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm sure I will be paying the price for the lack of sleep today.