Monday, November 9, 2009

Marine Wildlife

I have had many opportunities that I never imagined upon moving to Kampala, such as attending the East Africa Motor Cross Championship, drilling knuckles and dissecting human testicles in surgery, and learning to fly, just to name a few.

Attending the Marine Corps Ball should also be added to that list.  We have been invited to attend the celebration in years past but, due to scheduling conflicts or lack of appropriate attire, were always forced to decline the offer.  Not to mention, I may have judged the event to be an uptight, US propaganda, military affair.  This year a good group of our friends were attending and also generously offered to lend us some duds, so we went to the ball, and I’m glad we gave it go.

Sometimes things are hard in Uganda.  We complain of slow internet connections, or no internet connections.  We groan about the lack of certain conveniences such as drive-thrus or using credit cards.  It’s a hassle or even impossible to find specific items of food or clothing.  But, in Uganda, sometimes the convenience goes beyond any service or luxury we have in the States. 

For example, as we were getting primped and pressed for the ball, Phil realized he only had one old and worn out belt which was brown.  His borrowed suit was black, as was his tie and shoes.  Fortunately, many goods are sold at stoplights and on sidewalks throughout the city, including black, Armani knock-off belts for 5,000 Ugandan shillings ($2.50).  Now that Phil’s outfit was complete, we were ready for the ball.

Pre party in John’s room

 Sarah, Alison, Carol, Laurie, Irene & me

Phil & John (check out the belt)

The pomp and ceremony was tasteful and, most importantly, not too long, although the marching in of the cake was a little funny.  Overall, the presentations and speeches reminded me how lucky we are as Americans to have such an amazing defense force that is in all corners of the world, looking out for and protecting us.

Two weekends in a row I’ve been rubbing shoulders with the ambassador, the guest of honor, and his wife.  Phil accuses of me of approaching stalker level.  I just wanted to dance next to them, sheesh.

We were having too much fun dancing and celebrating to remember to take more pictures.  It could be compared to senior prom, without the drama but with an open bar.  I’d be up for going again next year.

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