As we chased the setting sun and the great deserts of the southwest fell into our wake the manicured trees and exotic gardens of Palm Desert, California enveloped us. Since the highway had become too boring to bear, I decided to take a shortcut across the mountains of the San Jacinto wilderness toward San Diego. We crept up the winding cut back Pines to Palms highway and the view just grew and grew. This was a great introduction to southern California. We dropped into Casa, a retirement community in North San Diego a little late for dinner. My uncle Artie and aunt Jean met us, full of anticipation. Artie had arranged for us to park at Casa and have meals with the residents, dividing the children in twos and threes among them. There was a heated pool to swim in, and a big presentation planned for Valentine’s Day. Basing our operation there the children would gain a lot of experience with American who in Afghan terms are the people that deserve the greatest respect. There are octogenarians, even folks in the nineties who were in their lives singers, superintendants, WWII veterans, rocket scientists, and a multitude of other histories.