Happy Independence Day!
You can't appreciate home till you've left it, money till it's spent, nor Old Glory till you see it hanging on a broomstick on a shanty of a consul in a foreign town.--O. Henry (1862-1919)
Spending the 4th of July overseas is different from being in the U.S.A. Charles goes to work and our everyday activities resume. However, as an expat in a foreign town, there are always plenty of opportunities to celebrate!
Our festivities began on Sunday afternoon, July 3rd with an invitation to the U.S. Consulate General's home. After going through security, including x-ray and purse check, we were ushered into the home by armed guards. There were various levels of greeters leading us through each step, which included visiting with the Consulate General and his wife and then into the main area on the back grounds. Dignitaries from Nigeria as well as the USA were invited along with many of us from the American community.
The back area was decorated in red, white and blue.
Tents were set up and we enjoyed visiting and making new friends.
The military presented the colors and began the ceremony. The Nigerians really LOVE the Marines and there was a long line to take pictures with them!
The Consulate General gives his address, then delivers a speech from Hillary Clinton to expats around the world. I love the national dress shown here of Nigerian dignitaries. There were more Nigerians who attended this celebration than Americans!
There was plenty of food and a cake too! It was a fun celebration!
On Monday, I attended a "farewell" lunch with friends, complete with turkey and dressing. :) We played canasta and enjoyed the afternoon together.
Then, Monday evening, we went to a friend's home for a combo birthday/4th of July meal. We grilled out hot dogs, ate potato salad, cold slaw and baked beans for an All-American dinner!! Chocolate cake for dessert completed our first 4th of July in Lagos - and it couldn't have been better!
As we celebrate our independence and our freedom - even far away from home - we see clearly the many advantages of our great country. We are so fortunate to be Americans and we appreciate it much more than ever!
God bless the U.S.A!