E-mail Update - 2006-12-12

Trip #3 - The Caribbean - Cayman Islands

Hey Everyone,

You may not have known it, but we are approaching the eve of world trip #3
:) Here is the crucial need to know information:

* Where is it this time? - Grand Cayman Island, in the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean. I will be on the 7 mile beach (which is said to be stunning), in the city of George Town. This is about 1 hour 25 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale, Florida by air. It is 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles west of Jamaica.

* When are you leaving? - I am getting the bus at 6pm in Madison on Monday, December 18 & flying out on December 19 at 6am from Chicago. Here is a direct link to the plane tickets I have right now (www.genextsoftware.com/travel/itinerary.htm), the return tickets will change since they were bought for visa purposes.

* You said you were staying for Christmas? - That had been the plan, but high season starts in the Cayman island on Dec 20 & goes through mid-April, so if I wanted a job I had to go before Christmas. We celebrated my birthday (which is actually December 30) today & Christmas this past Sunday.

* What are you doing in the Grand Cayman? - I will be working, Visa pending, as a dive instructor for Divers Down (www.diversdown.net) & Cayman Diving College (www.caymandivingcollege.com). I will also be guiding divers, learning to drive the boats & who knows what else.

* What does "Visa Pending" mean? - After a few conversations the job was offered to me & I accepted, about 3 weeks ago. I have been working since trying to get my work visa. I sent all the paperwork over the fax except the police record clearance, because they needed an original copy. That copy I mailed (at a cost of $38 for a letter!) overnight. After 2 weeks they come back saying the government had lost the form, so I sent another one (this time costing near $41), which they received today. However, the shop manager is worried they might not take it since it is a signature stamp on it, not an actual signature. Only time will tell, but this should be resolved this week.

* What will your schedule be like? - I will work 6 days a week from 7am to 4pm. The off day will likely be used to explore the island or rest up if I have had a long week. I hope to use my time after work to walk the beach, watch sunsets & further develop the languages I have started learning.

* How long are you going to be gone? - As always it depends. The first working visa, which should be finalized soon, is for 3 months. The company & I will discuss whether we want another year contract after the first 2 months of work. If we both agree I will get a new year long contract. So that means 3 months minimum, but more likely around 15 months.

* Where will you live down there? - Once on the island I will be staying with someone the company is providing for the first few nights. During those first few days I will be apartment shopping as well as getting everything else in order. I will likely need to split an apartment with another person there, but it should be furnished. Once I have an address I will email it to everyone back home.

* How will communication go for this trip & will you take your laptop? - I will have my laptop computer, plus plan to take a headset & video camera.
Audio & video conversations on MSN or Skype will be the typical means of talking as in the other trips. We will see about whether I will have a house or mobile phone, I would prefer not to have one for expense reasons. Having the laptop also means that I will be able to update my site with trip pictures, like I did on the first trip. I will let you know when I have put new pictures online from the Caymans. I also hope to get more content from Trip #1 & pictures from Trip #2 online.

* Sounds cool can we come visit? - Absolutely, I would love to see people & show them the island. The dive shop has agreed that I can teach or take diving anyone who is a friend of mine. One bad thing is that I will likely have a small place & probably will not be able to put up anyone who comes to the Caymans, but there are tons of places to stay on the island
:) Here is more information about the Cayman islands - www.caymanislands.ky.

* What is the time difference? - It is the same as eastern standard time in the US (same as New York City). I am not sure how daylight savings affects things.

Those were the most common questions I have gotten so far. I hope you understand the trip at least a little know. If you have any more questions let me know. The next week is shaping up as being really busy (as the past week has been). I might not reply to much email until after I am down there & settled in. If you want to talk before I go it is best to call (608-375-2870 or 608-375-5616).

I copied this email list back into my laptop from traveling, so if I have any old email addresses you asked me to change I apologize. Also let me know if you want off this list or would like someone else added :)

Lastly, I could not help attaching picture of my godson/nephew, John Allen (or as we like to call him King John). In my, obviously biased, opinion he is the cutest, best baby in the world!! The picture of John's Baptism & John by himself were taken this past Sunday (12/10), while the picture of John & I was taken today (12/11) after his feeding.

Love & Peace from "the God Father"!