After staying home last year with little fanfare, we decided this year that one holiday we will always celebrate while living abroad is July 4th. American Independence Day has always been a holiday close to both of our hearts. We have childhood memories of giant family cookouts, afternoon fun, and night-time fireworks over the city and the lake. As married adults, our July 4th celebrations entered a whole new domain with the Scott-Standiford backyard pyrotechnic extravaganza. Now living overseas, we realized that we can share this holiday and the fun of it with American and national friends alike. No matter what country or culture you're from, who can pass up a cook out, fun and games, and blowing things up? Wherever we find ourselves for the rest of our lives, July 4th will always be a party at or near our home.
This year, we cooked pizza and chocolate chip cookies on Saturday, along with 8 of our closest friends in TZ (American and Tanzanian). Then we played card games and telephone pictionary and called it a night. On Sunday, we journeyed to the US Embassy in Dar Es Salaam for a cookout of burgers and hotdogs, complete with blow up games, cupcakes, a dunkbooth, and a classic fireworks display. I was quite saddened that there was no Dr. Pepper to be found at the Embassy's party :(. When the night did turn to dark (7pm, as it's the middle of winter here!), the fireworks lit off and Sawyer was a real trooper. For about the first 20 sonic booms, he hugged into his daddy and took it in, but then a look of uncertainty turned to a pout and a lip quiver that almost morphed to a cry. When it ended, he relaxed his grip and put forth his signature smile that all was ok in the world!
Sawyer enjoyed his first 4th of July along with his parents. His stars and stripes shirt which proclaimed "I love the USA" was appropriate for the day, and only slightly ironic as he's never actually been to the USA. But soon, he shall learn to love it!