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Ariana recounts Curacao excursion

Posted by drewdougherty on March 20, 2011 – 8:58 pm

We are back! If I could summarize our trip in one word it would be UNBELIEVABLE!

Just as I imagined, we were in great company!

We arrived early Thursday evening in Curacao and were quickly briefed on the rules of the island – as Americans visiting our military that is- and given our itinerary for the next day.

We were up early Friday and began immediately rotating through the stations on base with Theo and Jay, Tomoko from the Bucs, and Stefanie and Alyson from the Titans. Following this tight schedule ensured that we had enough time to see everything and learn as much as possible about the daily duties of our troops on the island as well as the tasks they perform off base.

We found that the majority of the men and women stationed there were from the Air Force and the Navy.

At our first location, we were introduced to some of the men from the Air Force. I say “some” because it was a no-fly day, meaning that on these days they are not required to come to work. But because they had been expecting us, they were more than happy to be able to show us around.

They did this the entire day with each group that visited during the valued time there are given off, the time they could have spent resting, and the time they could have spent doing anything other than giving us “tours.”

That is just a small example of the kindness we were shown throughout our stay.

After seeing the entire base, we had just a few hours to rest before Theo and Jay’s show. The guys that had been escorting us since our arrival to the airport offered to show us the island and we immediately jumped on the opportunity. To our advantage, Q, as he asked us to call him, had been stationed there two years! He knew just about every inch of the island!

After a thirty minute drive, some unpaved trails, and a short walk, we found ourselves at the west point of the island. It was stunning! Bashing against the rocks and shooting up through a blowhole, the water looked as if it had been filled with blue and turquoise dye!

Had it not been for his familiarity with the island, we would have never seen let alone have heard of this place!

I’m sure most the battery from my camera was drained while we were there!

After leaving, we took a different route back to the base, the scenic route. I laughed when I heard this and said, “scenic route?” As if everything we hadn’t already seen wasn’t “scenic!”

Q then made a pit stop at a local restaurant where you can actually cliff dive straight into the crystal clear water!

Jay and Julius, another one of the men that had been escorting us, took advantage of being men, and needing only five minutes to do their hair and dove in!

Quite entertaining I must say!

As nervous as they were they said it was well worth it!

By then of course, we had to head back to get ready for Theo and Jay’s comedy show.

By 7 pm we were sitting beachside with most of the men and women stationed there listening to Theo and Jay put their talent to use.

Not only did my abs get a workout, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that had to wipe my eyes from laughing so hard. They were absolutely hilarious. If you haven’t heard of either of them you definitely should!

As Theo was about to go off stage, he said something that I am sure I had not considered. If it weren’t for these men and women fighting everyday for our rights as Americans, and for things such as the freedom of speech, he would not have a job. He was especially thankful for that right and said even though the show was for them, had it not been for what they do, he would never have had the opportunity to do so.

Again, unbelievable.

I am reminded every second during these military appreciation tours of how blessed I am to be a part of this country.

I always thank Armed Forces Entertainment for this experience, and I will do so again but now I see that any opportunity I am given is also a right. These tours are always a choice. I am allowed to choose whether or not I go and it is because of our troops that I have this freedom.

I especially thank the troops for WHAT they fight for.

Once again, on behalf of myself and the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Thank You!

-Ariana


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