I did it! I managed to drive to and from Yokota Air Base this weekend, without having been there before, by myself, with no Mapquest and no interstate. Whew! Yokota is 73km or about 45 miles away - anybody want to guess how long it takes to drive there?
TWO HOURS. or more. Two hours or more, to go roughly the distance to Marathon, if you're in Key Largo, or up to Rockpoaaahhhtt for the lobstah festival from Baaath, Mainers. Technically there's no interstate in that part of Maine either, but you get the idea.
It was a long drive, especially since I didn't change the cds in my car and there is only one English radio station, but I was proud of myself for making it there and back with no problems. I was in Yokota for the weekend for an American Red Cross training, which went really well. I'm an official caseworker now! That means I'm authorized to deliver Emergency Communication Messages to Americans serving over here - if there's a death in the family, an illness, or a baby is born, the Red Cross verifies the info and passes it along to the servicemember or civilian, and frequently to their command too.
The bulk of the training was about intake and initiating new cases, providing service to whoever makes the initial call about the emergency. As you can imagine, that's pretty rare here - most of what we do is delivery. So now I've got all this information and enthusiasm to counsel people in crisis and refer them to services that can help - and no one to counsel! So, anybody got any problems? I'm here to help.