At the risk of jinxing a good thing, I am convinced that the hefty deposits Quincy has made over the years into his karmic CD have finally started to pay off. Yay!
So he called yesterday afternoon, and of course I had my phone glued to my ear since missing his call Tuesday afternoon, and we got to talk for almost an hour. Got LOTS of new information to share (realizing that I actually haven't been sharing very much up to this point, mostly because there's been a lot for me to process and a lot of things up in the air until the last minute).
Remember all that stuff about Tall 'Afar? Well, forget it - he's at Al Kafik.
No, I don't know where it is, either.
He left Georgia last Monday (the 14th), flew to Maine, then Germany, then Kuwait, and then Bagdhad, where he trained for a week until this past Monday. During that time he learned he'd be going to Tall 'Afar, would be spending almost all of his time in the field, and that phone, e-mail and even regular mail would be just about non-existent. Not happy campers were we when he left Bagdhad.
Yesterday, however, it seems things brightened up considerably. On his way to Tall 'Afar they stopped at several bases to drop people off, and when they got to Al Kafik they decided that they needed someone more higher-ranking and with more doctoring skills to go to Tall 'Afar, so they kept Quincy at Al Kafik.
As Martha would say, "And that's a good thing."
It's a base with both Iraqi and coalition forces, and he's going to be doing a couple of different things there. Part of the time he'll be working in a clinic supporting the coalition forces (working in the lab, working in the clinic, working sick call, etc.), and occassionally helping out on the Iraqi side as needed. Most of the time he'll be teaching Iraqis courses on field medicine, with the ongoing goal of them eventually being able to teach themselves (and Q will be overseeing part of the transition while he's there), which is exactly what he was hoping to do while he was there (he has been talking about teaching medicine when he gets out of the Navy), and he said he's really enjoying it so far and is excited about the opportunity. Unfortunately, he will also occassionally be going out on convoys to missions in other areas with either coalition forces or the Iraqi police and military as their field medic, but the 5 or so corpsmen will all rotate the schedule so he won't be the only one doing it.
Additionally, there's a there there - he has his own room (with air conditioning!), his own satellite phone, hot running water, a real bathroom, he can get mail regularyl, and evidently he has a good bunch of co-workers to hang out with (they even have a DVD projector so they can watch movies and stuff). The only downside (other than the fact that it's, you know, Iraq) is that internet access is spotty, although he's hoping they'll be hooking them up with a better connection soon.
All things considered, this is the freakin' RITZ compared to what they told him he'd be doing mere days before. Yay! He has Fridays off so that might be the designated time we try to talk, but we'll actually be able to keep in contact much, much better than most military families get to, so I consider us very, very lucky.
So yes, I finally have an address, so comment here and I'll make sure you get it if you're interested. Things he could use are phone cards and DVDs. Things he doesn't need are baby wipes and batteries. He also said there's a storeroom full of stuff sent by church groups, school groups, community groups, etc. that are for "the troops in Iraq" and as they need stuff they can get it from there, and that's got very generic stuff (toiletries, mostly). He also has a list of very specific personal stuff he needs, but that's my job. :D Oh, and I'm sure anything consumable would be most appreciated, although he said the food there is very good.
So, needless to say, I'm very, very relieved, and for once am glad that the military can never seem to make up its mind (and hope they won't change their minds again!). Thanks to all the well-wishers, and if you want me to pass on any messages just let me know. (In fact, maybe I'll set up a "Quincy appreciation thread" so y'all can write to him directly and I'll tell him to check it out next time he's online. Hmmm...)