The Grove

The Grove is one of the two places on the FBI Academy campus where alcoholic beverages are allowed.  I should say one of three places, as the boardroom is on the campus and it is pretty much a bar.  You have already seen photos from The Point, which is the FBI’s recreation area on Lake Lunga.  The Grove is the other location; it consists of some picnic benches near the track, close to where they are building a new building.  It is really not much of anything, but it was a good place to be tonight.

I spent Saturday on school work.  Last night I took off and went with the California Steve’s to see Cowboys and Aliens.  This morning I got up, ate breakfast, swam a mile, worked on papers until dinner, then swam another mile.  At lunch and dinner I heard people talking about gathering at The Grove tonight; I was ready to be done with papers, so I went to check it out. 

There was a campfire going, pickup trucks backed in, a variety of meats cooking on a grill, and a bunch of guys drinking, consuming tobacco products, and laughing.  There was twangy country music playing (btw, I hate old twangy country music – but at that moment, it was kind of nice) and I slid in and felt like I belonged. 

I spent much of the evening talking with Gary, who has been here on a fellowship for six months; he works full time for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Aaron from Texas (who bought a grill just so he could cook here), Richard from Louisiana, the other Richard from Alabama, and (in a turn you did not expect) Lim from Cambodia and Hakan from Sweden.  I did not bring one of the good cameras but I did bring a little point and shoot.  The pictures are crap; next time I will bring a real camera and do better.

I have never worried about my ability to succeed in the academic classes here and I am now confident I can hold my own in the physical fitness exercises.  Still, I have not felt like I belonged here until tonight, standing around a fire shooting the bull with a bunch of other guys and talking about our families we are all missing at home.

Tomorrow I plan to spend sight seeing somewhere.  I spotted some of the International Students who also seemed stuck on campus at lunch and dinner today and made a point to sit with them.  I found three who had no plans and no way off campus tomorrow, so I am meeting Lim from Cambodia, Hamza from Nigeria, and possibly Satwant from India tomorrow at breakfast.  We are going to see museums, which ones I will leave up to them.  This may be their only trip to the United States, I am excited just to have the opportunity to be the wheel man.

I told my mother this blog might be revealing and maybe this was too revealing, but I am going to call this a good evening.  I have yet to set foot in the Boardroom but I will be back to the Grove.  For now, I need to turn in so I can get up and drive some cops from around the globe into Washington tomorrow to see the best our country has to offer.

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5 Responses to The Grove

  1. rdlethbr says:

    Glad you had a good night, son! Love, MOM

  2. Andrew G. Lethbridge says:

    There is a guy with a Patriots shirt in the picture, so it must be a solid group of friends to hang with… good job!

  3. Kathy Callander says:

    Hey Tim, love your blog. This is the first I’ve been able to log in. I’m thankful to Tracy for sending us the link. Sounds like a good night. Feeling like we fit in can make all the difference in a situation. For me, it usually takes me a while to feel like I belong – but when that happens, I find friends for life.

    I thought of you last week as I watched my two children running around playing super heros. Reminded me of the days at Mamie and Hotdogs when you and me, Laura and Andrew (I think Matt and Melissa were still a bit young then) would run around their house and yard playing Justice League. So funny, but very good memories. Who knew it was a precurser for what you would become… 🙂

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