July 04, 2012

Fourth of July Overseas

This is the first year we're celebrating the Fourth of July overseas.  Last year we were in DC, and the years before, we had our wonderful block party in Berkeley.

It's a little (LOT) different being overseas.  In the US, the Fourth of July is usually a day off, a time to get together with family and friends, BBQ, have fireworks and enjoy a good time.  Even though we know that the day commemorates the birth of our country, that usually gets lost among the potato salad and BBQ.

But it doesn't happen that way overseas.

First of all - it's not a holiday in whatever country you're in; there aren't firework stands, red, white and blue bunting, or parades.

Secondly, since it's the big US holiday,  all the consulates and embassies all over the world celebrate the United States and invite guests to help celebrate.   So there's a big party and lots of festivities.

Thirdly - and most importantly, it gives you a chance to really appreciate how wonderful our country is and how many things you love and miss about it.  Living overseas is great and there's so many great things you get to learn and experience.  Other countries have amazing people and cultures that are truly fascinating.  But, there's no place like home and the US is a wonderful place.  Seeing the red, white and blue brings up a lot more emotions when you're so far away from home.

Here in Brazil, with so many consulates, the Fourth of July is a series of parties.  In Recife, we celebrated the Friday before with a big bash.

The party was amazing!  The venue was in a great part of town and had beautiful grounds.  I've never seen red-white-and-blue look so elegant!

The ambassador and our principal officer along with some local dignitaries welcomed everyone

and cut a magnificent cake. 

The food was amazing - everything was passed and it was super yummy.

There were little tomato-mozzarella salads

And eggplant tidbits.

There was a dessert buffet with small Brazilian chocolate treats.

And a coffee station. 

The wait staff did an amazing job

Passing lots of hors d'oeuvres

A wonderful American singer sang our national anthem and we even had a Bluegrass band! 

It was an incredibly elegant party and everyone had a great time!

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