Cyprus & Harley’s
Having a five day break between returning from Colombia with Paula, work called. January was a month for going back to Cyprus and some adventures with Harley’s. On January 12, I began the same journey as a year earlier, to Cyprus. This time to complete the course that was started and get certified in peer support.
Little did I know that this would be the start of a year of adventure. By this point, Vince had started to buddy up with the new analyst, Mark H. There was a lot of talk of Angola prior to the holidays and a possible deployment. As mentioned, Vince had joined the organization with all guns blazing and a lot of aggression to deploying into new areas. Also, Syria had been heating up for some time and many organizations were looking at how to respond.
This would also be a year of increasing my new lifestyle in the world of Harley Davidson.
January 12, 2013, the day before my son’s birthday, I boarded my first flight bound for Cyprus. Leaving at 0900 from San Jose, my route took me via New York (JFK), London and finally Larnaca. I arrived in Larnaca the next day shortly after 1500, where I was picked up and taken to the same hotel, the Sun Hall.
I was looking forward to completing this course, and to this day not sure why it took two sessions over a year. Regardless, here I would become a certified peer supporter, something new to add to my credentials.
During this trip, we tried out some new restaurants. One such restaurant was Militzis Restaurant on the coast. Again, this was a winter trip, so Cyprus was cold and wet, so no patios.
Having completed the course, I finally obtained certificates in:
With certificates in hand, I was looking forward to being a certified peer supporter to add to my skills in adult psychology.
Vince had also informed me at this time he was slated for a “Special Mission” for Syria. I had to run this up to Perry as I had never heard of a “Special Mission”. Later I was informed it was a desk assessment to see if World Vision would respond and that Vince had “…made it sound like we were going in and that it was a clandestine operation! All spooky kind of spec ops stuff.” Eventually, we do go in, but not all clandestine.
On January 19 I would start my journey home, but not until the evening. This gave me time to walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the nice day. This was the only day of complete sun that we had that week. During this walk, I noticed a group of bikes had parked along the waterfront, Harley’s. As I was starting to get more involved in this activity, I was intrigued. I was also surprised that a small island had a Harley Owners Group…not many places to go!
When I got home I decided to take my 1998 1200 Sportster out for a run. While I was riding, I stopped in at the local Harley dealership in San Jose for a visit. Having befriended many of the staff, it was nice to be getting more involved in this lifestyle. While I was here, I noticed a new 2013 Fat Boy sitting on the showroom floor.
Having saved some money over the previous year, I felt this was an opportune time to upgrade. I immediately told my friend, Rashany, that I wanted this bike. Placing a deposit on it and putting the Sportster for sale, I would soon have a new ride. It only took two days to unload the Sportster and finish paying for the Fat Boy.
I was now looking forward to some longer rides with Paula, some of which would be throughout Central America. The first long one was coming in March, and with nothing on deck workwise, good time to plan.
Not long after taking delivery of “Black Magic”, my Fat Boy, my parents came to Costa Rica for a visit. This would be my first, and not my last, time playing tour guide. It was nice to have parents come visit me for a change. So, a two day visit saw us traveling to many Costa Rica destinations, which allowed me to know more. You would think after two years here I would have known it all, but not the case.
More Organizational Changes
With Vince now on board, changes were looming in the structure of the Office of Corporate Security (OCS). Since Vince and I were a part of the Humanitarian Emergency Affairs unit, we had no direct link to OCS. Working with Mike T., we had started the framework to have the HEA security team (Vince and I) fall under OCS directly.
At this point, neither of us had met Mike personally, and we were invited to the next OCS annual meeting coming in the next couple of months. However, in the interim, Sean had invited me on a training event for the region in early March. This would be a short shot North to Chattanooga, Tennessee.