Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Bit of National Party Pride!

Monday 4 July, 2005: Banda Aceh

Happy Fourth of July! Doesn’t really feel like one here. No banners or flags flying. VERY subdued. But we did show a bit of color this weekend. The Americans finally had their party. Our sister societies usually take turns hosting parties. I’ve been to a Russian, German, Norwegian, and two Australian ones. It was about time that we did our fare share. In retrospect, I would say that our party was a screaming success. We now have eleven staff. What a change from the first month when it was just Teh and me! Of course, having so many local staff and expats means that we can spread the costs a bit more evenly among the group.

We tried to be as American as possible without being fascist. We were able to talk to a local baker who made hamburger buns and a butcher who would grind beef. So we had hamburgers, beef hotdogs, Fried Chicken, and potato salad. It was a lot of work. A few of our local staff worked almost full-time, getting preparations in order. Have have a few good logistics friends who helped me secure “certain effervescent beverages” as well. We still are very cogniscent of where we are. All drinks were served in plastic cups and we made sure that the noise level got out of hand. We also let the local police and our landlord know that we were having a little party.
The BBQ started at five, but people are such workaholics here, that people didn’t really start arriving till seven. Sujata and I had put a “mellow mix” and a “happy mix ” Itunes playlist together and had a decent pair of speakers. Eddie, our new admin assistant, also secured a karaoke set… dangerous amongst Indonesians. There was dancing and a lot of fun had by all. We ended up having about a hundred people there. The beauty of Aceh is, there is a twelve o’clock curfew for Ex-pats… so the party didn’t go into the wee hours of the morning. Although we did have to push along some drunk South African pilots!

We had Ibu Murne, our housekeeper, and her family actually work the party for us. They were life savers and they ensured that it was success. They came the day after and cleaned everything up as well. Sunday was the most relaxing day I have had yet. We did NOTHING. I think Sujata, Teh, and I laid on the couch for about four hours. After all the excitement and craziness of party, it felt great to do nothing… I need to try to do that more often.

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