Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hobnobbing

So last night was interesting. We were invited to go to a reception the American embassy was having at the Beach House. The embassy is located in Barbados and serves all of the Caribbean islands. Oddly, the officials were sort of celebrating July 4th as a "reason" for the visit, but were pretty much just trying to introduce themselves to Americans on the islands and to touch base with various dignitaries. It gave us an excuse to dress up a bit, quite the rare occasion.



The American flags going up the walkway was a nice effect.



We actually did know a few people there and were not surprised to see Peter, our hashing pal and British consul hobnobbing around (weird seeing him all gussied up). They played the Kittitian national anthem and then the American via recording and then put out some appetizers and served up cocktails. The head guy from the American embassy then gave a speech about the relationship the US had with all of the Caribbean, which was interesting. The US is involved in efforts to help the economies in this region, is working with programs to keep youth engaged and out of trouble, and spending lots of money on drug/gun issues which are on the rise on all the islands. It reminded me of how much money the US spends on places throughout the world and how little those efforts are truly appreciated. Of course, I also had to wonder what the islands promise for that assistance (there's always a price), but figured it couldn't be as bad as Japan's bribes for our whaling vote (could it?).

We were introduced to various officials at the embassy, should we ever need their services, ate some fruit salad while others enjoyed the buffet of non-veggie stuff, and just chatted folks up. Most of the embassy staff work 2-year stints and can renew or transfer to anywhere in the world. One woman had worked in Latin America for 30 years and recently decided to hang in the Caribbean for a bit. Another guy had served his 2 years and was now heading to Slovakia. If you like to travel, working in an embassy might be the way to go.

This weekend is finally a hash! The last one was postponed due to the cricket matches and then the music festival, so we're way overdue!