Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Was on Flight 1 to Hawaii

Yesterday, I was on flight 1 from Chicago to Honolulu and this United flight was wonderful. It was very cool to be on Flight 1 and I could not have asked for a nicer seatmate -- an army reservist, named DJ, who, after training, was being deployed to Honolulu. We talked for a long time about military training, operations, and logistics. He will hear in a month whether he goes to Afghanistan or stays in Honolulu for two years.

This young man, age 20, had such entertaining stories to share about his basic and specialized training that the flight of over 8 hours passed by quickly. The United staff was fantastic and allowed us to stand for quite a while. They were courteous and friendly and even told me of sights in Honolulu that I should see. Although with the workshop I do not have spare time for sightseeing. There were quite a few military members on our flight since Hawaii's main industries are now tourism and the military base. As we were landing we clapped for the military present as well as for the veterans.

As for Honolulu, the workshop is at a hotel on Waikiki beach and the views and shops are simply magnificent. I have been taking long walks early in the morning and my hotel room has a balcony with a view of the Pacific Ocean. It is a location filled with beauty.

I am very much enjoying the workshop, which is funded by the Air Force and it is multidisciplinary with fascinating perspectives. I like to be in such an intellectually challenging environment.

I gave my presentation today and very much enjoyed the experience. An earlier blogpost has information about my talk and the workshop program.