New Orders to Rota

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

My husband just received orders to Rota, but we have to attend DLI first, setting us up for a Jan '12 move. There is still a considerable amount of time for us to make contacts and find out about the move, but I thought I'd get a jump start since this will be our first foreign move. Any information about housing, schools, employment (I'm a nurse) would be helpful.

Hope to hear from you soon!

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Jodie - posted on 11/05/2010

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Go on FB and look for Naval Station, Rota. That is a good resource that most of us out here use. You can look at a lot of the events, etc. And you can post or reply to discussions. If you want to know more about nursing opportunities and the school, that would be a good place to ask. (I know there is one big school on base in the housing area and they have HS, Jr High and elementary, but my oldest is not quite 2 and my second is still an embryo so we dont know much about the school yet haha) You have to be at least 5 yrs old to attend school on base, but you also have the option of putting your child(ren) in school out in town. At the Spanish schools, they can start as early as 3. And they go by the year of birth (Jan-Dec), not the age when school starts(Aug-July or however they do it in the states).
Housing is good. You're prob gonna want to talk to a couple people from both the newer and the older housing. I was advised to choose the older housing, but I've heard that the newer housing is good, too.
The newer ones are 2 stories and I guess the walls are pretty thin, but they actually dont put people right next to each other to compensate for that (they are 3 or 4 houses connected and only the ends are occupied).
The floors throughout the house are tile. They sell area rugs at the Nex, but youre prob best off finding one you really like before u get here if ur gonna want to have one (or more). The walls are stucko, so its not easy to hang pictures, but you are allowed to hang as many as you want. You just cant get too deep before you hit cement. There is no set up for ceiling fans or overhead lighting in the bedrooms. You are going to need lamps. There is a hanging light over the dining area though. We replaced ours with our chandelier. The kitchen and bathroom walls are tile, so you are limited in what and how you hang things. Our unit is a 3 bed and only has 1 bath. I have a bunch of pics of our "House In Rota" on our profile (I share a FB w my husband). If you add me you can take a look at them. (Todd andJodie Delquadri)
There is A/C and heater. Most of the windows have the most amazing shades ever. haha The bedroom is pitch black as long as we want it to be. Im sure this is bc "Spanish time" is a lot like freshman year of college time. They stay up REALLY late and sleep in. Spain is kinda known for its night life. They eat all their meals a lot later than us. And most everything shuts down for siesta between 2 and 5pm. And a lot of places are closed on Sunday.
There is a NEX and Commissary on base, and a barber/salon (but unless youre getting a high & tight, I suggest you find one of the girls on base who cuts hair. Theyre better. It's hit or miss at the salon.) The NEX and Commissary are only about 3 yrs old, but theyre still decent. But they prob wont carry everything that youre used to. And youre prob gonna do a lot of your shopping online. There are a few Spanish malls not too far off. There is an Ikea nearby. They have McDonald's and Burger King, but don't expect them to be like home.
When you first get here your husband is required to go through an ICR class, and you should do it with him. It was really helpful. I only wish they had given us a list of local businesses off base. That would be really helpful bc I still dont know where much of anything is (ive only been here since late July). But if you get connected with some people (and Im sure youll make at least one friend in ICR) there are a bunch of people to ask if you need to find something. People here are great, American and Spanish. This is actually a Spanish military base and we occupy it, so there is Spanish military on base, too.
What is your husband's rate? Everyone who brings their family is required to live on base, but they recently converted all the 2 bedroom houses into big ol' 4 bedroom houses, but those are for I want to say E7 and above. A lot of the single members and the contracted workers and retirees live out in town.
Make sure your packers do a good job when they come to pack and load your household goods. I heard that some of them dont do a very good job. They did fine with mine, but i have more than one friend from VA who had a lot of things broken. Make sure not to really underestimate the weight of your things or they might not have enough trucks show up and you wont get to take everything. The houses arent huge, but we have more storage space than we did at our last place. Backyards are very big and there is an enclosed patio with a decent-sized storage room. I dont know about the newer housing.
The weather is a lot like southern CA. It is rainy in the winter. It is hot in the summer, but there are two places to access the beach on base and a ton more off base. There is so much to do and see around here. I encourage you to do as much traveling as possible.
There is a drive-in and a regular movie theatre, golf coarse, bowling alley, housing pool (only open sometimes), gym, aquatic center, chapel, Child Development Center (daycare with hourly rates), and another center for school aged children, Pizza Villa pizza place, Champions which hosts some fun stuff at night, and a ton of other things on base.
Ive heard that it is tough to get a job here, but you might have better luck as a nurse ? I dont know. I am a stay at home mom. You can always be a Pampered Chef, Party Lite, Uppercase Living, etc. consultant. That kind of stuff is a big hit with us moms stuck overseas haha.
You will do great. You have nothing to worry about. It has been so easy to meet people out here. And everyone is willing to help you find anything. And you have plenty of time. It will fly by, though, so enjoy the time where you are now. :)
And congratulations on your baby boy. He will have a million friends to play with when he gets here! Everyone and their mom is pregnant haha. Myself included! I find out the gender soon. For some reason everyone is rooting for a boy. We'll see. :)

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Paige - posted on 09/22/2014

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I really need help. I am one of the younger Navy girls and my Blake just got an assignment to Rota in January. Can I take general education courses that'll transfer in the US while in Rota?
Please help :(

[deleted account]

Okay, my husband just told me what you meant by "rate." I thought you meant rank... I'm not familiar with the Navy lingo. Sorry! I still think I answered the question about the housing... geez! I don't get into all of that rank crap, so I'm clueless...

[deleted account]

Thanks so much for all of the information--extremely helpful!

I am clueless as to what housing we'll be assigned to or if we'll have to live on base, so I found the housing details especially helpful. My husband will be an O-4 about 6 months before we get there... With it being a Spanish base, I didn't think they would have rank bands for housing--we've never lived on base before, but I've always thought that it was kind of a strange practice to group by rank. I had heard that they have separate US and Spanish housing--not sure how accurate that is. So, in your opinion, the older homes are better than the newer?

My husband is a Marine pilot, and he'll be doing an exchange tour. Basically, he will be flying for the Spanish Navy, and they'll send a pilot over to the US to take his place. The American pilot there now lives out in town... a part of me wants to live on base for the security/safety that I associate with being on a base, but there is another part that thinks it would be more of a cultural experience to live out in town. I guess they will fill us in at some point...

Did you work in the US before moving to Spain? I imagine I won't be getting a job while there... Spain is one of the few countries that has a surplus of nurses, and since it is a Spanish base, they have a SOFO agreement that states that for every one American hired, they must hire 7 Spaniards. Sooo, the odds are not in my favor... I'm looking into attending a Spanish University, and also, volunteer healthcare clinics in neighboring countries. I am not good at staying home--I did that for a few months earlier this year, and I was beyond bored! I guess it wouldn't have been so bad had my little one not started school, or if we had known more people here. I could get used to being lazy on the beach though... :)

Is your husband in the Navy or a Marine?

Mjbukey4 - posted on 08/25/2010

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Hey Julia, sorry for the late response. I don't get on Circle of Moms much anymore.Welcome to Rota, it is a nice place to live, we have really enjoyed it here. The on base housing is minutes from the beach. When we moved here they were making everyone live in base housing. So, it all depends on when you get here if there is housing available or not. They are converting all the 2 bedrooms into 4 bedrooms if you have 3 or more kids. The regular housing is small if you have alot of stuff. We were fine since we came from apartment to here. They are still working on building a whole new school, it's in walking distance of housing. Some people do send their kids to Spanish school out in town. I don't know much about it since my son is not in school yet. Employment can be hard to get here, I don't know about in your line of field. Rota has many pages on FB, to find out everything you need to know. You can friend me if you would like, incase you have anymore questions or look under my info. on my profile for all of the Rota pages. I hope this helps some!

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