So technically we didn't "hunt" for any houses here, we merely chose between two different options the military gave us. Housing on Okinawa for all bases and branches is a little unique because all service members and their dependents are required to live on base unless housing capacity reaches 98%. When we arrived housing was teetering around 95%, which meant that we would definitely be on base. We were actually happy to hear this news because even though we'd get more of a cultural experience living in town, it's honestly just way more convenient being on base. We wouldn't have to worry about utilities,BAH or a long commute for Ben. A number of different factors affected what houses we were shown including rank, number of dependents, and proximity to work i.e. the "work where you live" policy.
We are finally finding the time to explore this little island. Here's a few pictures of our first good look at the East China Sea. Funny/embarrassing how I never even knew it existed until I found out we were moving here..
Somehow we've only been here for a week, feels more like a lifetime though. These past seven days have been packed with non-stop inprocessing and newcomers briefs which are pretty much equivalent to college freshman orientation... Aka not a good time. Not only is the transition from America to Japan culturally shocking, I am also adjusting to life on a military base which is way out of my element. From what I can recall of the last week (it's becoming a blur) we've spent a majority of our time either getting paperwork done, meeting Ben's coworkers, fighting off jet lag, and trying to navigate our way through Camp Foster, Kadena, and the rest of Okinawa. Luckily, we have the most amazing sponsor who is our tour guide, taxi, mentor, and realtor all mixed into one. We can never thank him enough for all of the time and energy he has invested in helping us in any/every way possible. On of my favorite moments from this week was when Chris, his wife Tara, and their three children invited us over for dinner. Great company and a delicious meal was a very welcomed activity after a stressful couple of days.
Ben and I are currently sprawled out on an oversized couch in our suite at a beach front hotel. We went from sleeping on the airport floor to being on a legitimate vacation in what seemed like less time than it took for us to figure out how to use our high-tech butt-washing toilet (which is life changing btw). Due to a change in our flight date, base lodging was full so we will be spending our temporary lodging in this hotel.... How the hell did we get so lucky? Our hotel room has a living area, mini kitchen, beautiful bathroom and a balcony that faces the East China Sea. Although modern, it has it's fair amount of Japanese flair which include low-to-the-ground furniture, kimono style robes, Japanese appliances, and of course an extremely high tech toilet.
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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