Sunday, June 15, 2008



In any army school you live in the barracks. Most folks don't understand what a barracks room looks like. The quality of some barracks compared to others varies quite differently as well. To put it simply it's somewhere between a prison cell, a motel room, and a dorm room. Someone smarter than I am can make the graph of those things. I just know that when I walk into the door I see a mix of all three.

My roommate for this stage of adventure is a young man named David Sherman, who graduated from Clemson. He's low maintenance, and a good guy. There's just two of us in the room and we both feel pretty lucky. Most folks have 3-4 people in their rooms.

This week we were kept busy inprocessing for the school. Somehow the Army didn't quite keep my digital dental records and so I had to start from scratch. That was an annoying three hours waiting in line to get my teeth x-rayed. I did manage to get it done though and so I wont have to worry about it again.

It's not very surprising to realize that after nearly two years of being around my family full time--I miss them. So I decided to adopt some of my fellow students and make us a family. I started with Jacob Snyder. When we noticed that we both had the same name we developed a story to go along with it. Mom and dad had trouble having kids, so they adopted me. Then you showed up and they felt like they had gotten things right and named you Jacob. Jacob Snyder is the "good son" while I got treated as the red-headed step child.

Having a brother is great... but it still didn't feel like a family. So we needed to adopt a sister that would help us complete the scheme of things. So we adopted Katie Richesin. She was the quietest one in the squad. So the story goes: Katie's our sister and she's quite because of how domaneering we are and how mean we were to her growing up. Ironically, as soon as she accepted the fact that she was adopted into a family she wasn't quiet any more. In fact she's got quite a complimentary personality. She's the perfect addition to this made up family--and we're glad to have her.

Jacob Snyder is from Missouri--the only state where it was legal to kill Mormons until the 1970's. He drives a blue Toyota truck, is a good speaker, listener, and friend. Katie graduated from the Citadel and enjoyed some time in Africa doing humanitarian work and research for a project. There's a lot to her that's underneath the surface and we keep telling her that she's gotta find the guy that loves her for all that's there. We also been having a bit of fun practicing saying "Rukungiri." The name of the town where she spent time in Africa.

Well "the family" needed a name. So we started shopping around and the best one we could find was Chrissy's maiden name: Hovan. There's no one else here at school with it, it's easy to say, spell, and sounds cool.

The family decided that we were going hiking this weekend and took along a few other folks. Five of us all together hiked what they call "mountains" here and had a blast. We saw a tarantula, a cave, adventure, and fish. At the top of a rock there was a seasonal puddle with some very small fish in it. I've emailed a professor at USU to see if anyone knows the name of the creatures... I thought they were cool!

We found a cave full of daddy long leg spiders -- there were so many of them on the ceiling that their legs looked like fur. It was a bit creepy -- but still really cool.

Being away from the kids gives me a chance to go and have adventures. It's important to keep busy while away. I've put the highlights together for this blog but there was a lot more to this week than just making a family and hiking.

I'm glad to be here with these folks, doing the things we're doing. I'll let you all know how it goes.


I'll have the photo of the three of us up later.

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