Food, damn! There would be 40 people working in that climate and humidity – they would need 3 to 4 thousand calories a day – that’s a lot of food. I knew I did not want MREs (meals ready to eat), that meant real food.
There were less than 15 there now. If we went to restaurants, anybody looking would know for sure the complement of men; I did not really want that – I wanted to keep them guessing. It meant that anywhere they went would be in small groups until after the attack. It also meant that the attack plans could be adjusted to target us in smaller groups.
I called Bob to see of he could make us more crates, this time line the inside with the 3 inch blue insulation board, tape all seams, make sure the lids fit reasonably tight and then cut a piece of the foam board to fit in the top. Then I had Mark call around for dry ice and to find coolers to temporarily put it in.
I was thinking of so many things that could go wrong, they were beginning to get in the way. Mark came in with answers to the dry ice; if we were willing to pay extra we could get the delivery anytime.
I had him and all my administrators come in and sit down and wrote a list and a time line that it needed to be done in so everything would be ready to load on the C17 Monday morning.
The girls were waiting at my door when I finished with Mark. It was time to go to Annapolis, to buy clothes that I never dreamed of needing.
Evening dresses, cocktail dresses, party dresses. I tried on one after another. Jenny and Marcy made the decisions for me; it was a good thing because I would have left without buying any.
The first evening dress that they and I liked was $5000 dollars; I almost choked. That’s when I was confronted; Marcy, Jenny, and Vicky were in my face before Ching Lee and Lorrie could get there.
“Not only are you are representing the United States as an Ambassador, you are an Ambassador representing JBG and that is all of us. When it is time to put on the Ritz you are going to turn heads,” Marcy said with all the others agreeing.
Then there 6 more dresses of different styles. I did manage to get three pant suits at $3000 a piece. They chose two designer named jackets that could be mixed and matched with several outfits for $5000.
I kept asking myself what the difference was between a 200 dollar pant suit and one that cost $3000. I never could come up with an answer.
` “You cannot wear the same outfit to all those events” Jenny replied to my questions. “No, you cannot go in camo,”
“Every party there will require a different look. You see all the different outfits that I have to wear to the governors parties,” she replied.
Then came the jewelry to mix and match with all the outfits. First was a watch with white gold and diamonds, $4000.
“I don’t need a watch, the cell phone gives me the time,” I said.
“Elegant ladies do not look at their cell for the time,” I was told.
I have pierced ears and had worn various kinds of small earrings for years; little stars with diamonds and that kind of thing; nothing fancy or dangling to give me any problems in the gym. Now I had several sets of dangly white and yellow gold with diamonds, rubies, pearls and others. The girls had told the sales girl to stop telling me the price.
Then it was necklaces and bracelets; gold, silver, diamonds and precious stones. The price tag was still on the necklace when a mirror was held so I could see; it was the price of a top of the line Cadillac. I started to object only to get a wagging finger in my face. Too many necklaces were bought and then shoes, thank God no terribly high heels.
Finally we were ready to leave and I was glad of it. I had a feeling that while I was gone there would be new wardrobes filled with expensive clothes.
We followed Alice, Ellen and Linda into the gym, all of them were wearing nice looking glasses.
“Well, can you see now?” I asked.
“The world does look a lot different now,” Linda responded.
“I want to take you back to the gun club in the morning for a few minutes,” I said.
“We’re ready,” Ellen replied, “I have confidence we can do better.
“What did you say to Ambassador Woodman? He has called a dozen times screaming at us,” Linda asked.
“He should not be talking to you at all. His bosses and I did a conference call with him this morning; that should have put an end to it.”
“Go upstairs to Cindy’s office, one of the clerks should be there. Tell them I said to issue each of you a company smart phone and activate it. Then manually transfer the people you want from your contact list and photos. Do not put Woodman’s number on the phone! You will then take the battery out of your phones; that will make him go through proper channels,” I said.
It was after 5 PM when Dad and Jason wanted me to meet them at Morton Field parking lot. When I got there the John Deere dealer’s delivery truck was unloading the skid steer loader.
Howie and his guys had left for the day so I got the hands on operating demo. The biggest thing I needed to know was how to be able to change from the bucket to the pallet forks, which we did. I was pretty sure that some of the men could run it.
The truck Dad had bought from a dealer in Salisbury was a 10 year old GMC diesel with a 14 foot flat bed and an automatic transmission that would make it easy for anyone to drive.
The two axle over-deck equipment trailer was new. The over-deck style would work out perfectly for transporting pallets to the embassy. Dad had thought ahead and bought all kinds of straps and binders.
There were only a few items left on each list, with most of them needing to wait and be finished late Sunday afternoon.
The G5s would be returning in an hour with the 37 men and women of the RRS team. Most of them were going home; they lived locally now with cheap mortgage financing from Midwest; they had elected to move to the area. Some of the wives and kids were already here.
For those that didn’t have family in the area, Cindy had reserved motel rooms for them or a couple of the men were going to be carried to an airport near their home.
I sent Andy a message, “I am going to have to attend several what to do affairs. I am going to need an escort, someone who likes to be bored to death; who has and looks great in suits and possibly a tux and can carry on a conversation with the elite and can dance. Can you help me out with that or find someone who can?”
The general had been busy all afternoon finishing up odds and ends for me. He walked with me to the hangar to inspect all the crates Bob had made. There were a total of 24 4x4x4 foot and two 4x4x8 foot ones; two trips from the Kampala airport to the embassy would cover that.
He took measurements and pictures of the equipment and crates to send to the loadmasters for the C17 so they could work on the computer loading program. Everything had to be balanced out and placed in a spot.
I wondered how all the things that Andy had asked for would be packaged. Most likely a third trip would need to be made.
Tonight was back to the inn and then more quiet time home together. I was ready for that.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.