Friday, October 3, 2008

A Short Breather

For the past three days, Kearsarge and her crew have enjoyed some much needed liberty. We were in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the weather was beautiful. Our crew relaxed for a few days and explored the city of San Juan. Kearsarge organized tours of old San Juan forts and a tropical rainforest. Some sailors swam in the ocean; others joined me for a game of golf, where one of my junior officers gave me a run for my money, beating me by seven strokes; or did I let him win? No, too competitive, he won. All were happy to relax and feel the warm sun on their faces. We tasted the local cuisine; a popular Puerto Rican dish is mufungo – smashed plantains mixed with different meats or seafood. This was a well-deserved break, and I was happy to see everyone relax and to hear their laughter ringing through the old cobblestone streets of San Juan. Puerto Rico has lots of history and it has lots of character, and we were happy to be able to experience both.
Kearsarge departed San Juan early this morning for Dominican Republic. In 1496 Santo Domingo became Europe’s first permanent settlement in the New World, and today they rely on the United States to receive 75 percent of their exports. Although the mission will be the same, the dynamics are slightly different. Our emphasis will be on the partnering of existing capabilities and working together to deliver our unique capabilities to those in need.
The DOMREP mission promises to be as rewarding for Continuing Promise as Nicaragua and Colombia. Our medical teams will visit three sites to provide medical, dental and veterinarian care. Doctors will also engage in surgical screenings at outlying sites, and patients will be brought back to Kearsarge for onboard surgeries. Our engineering teams will also be busy building playgrounds and seahuts for the local elementary schools. With able bodied assistance of KEARSARGE’s Sailors, we will execute numerous community relations projects, conduct subject matter expert exchanges with their military and establish new friendships and relationships.
Tonight is a busy night of confirming plans, as operations begin tomorrow with the rising of the sun. We are ready to resume Continuing Promise, and everyone is eager to hit the ground running tomorrow. There is much to do, so let us be about our business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I know you've had many thanks already, but thank you so much for your posts. I check them daily. It helps us back home through this time of separation. A separation that has done, and will continue to do, many great things for those who need it most. I am a former sailor myself with a cruise under my belt..experiencing it from this side of the water certainly is a different type of difficult. So again thank you for all you do. --Safe and speedy return to all.