Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend

Corey and our cake

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July in Sao Tome City. We planned a party and invited somewhere around 80 guests plus their friends. We expected the Prime Minister to come to the party; however he missed his flight and could not make it.

Two feet of Barracuda

Without the Prime Minister we still had a lot of fun. We had the back half of a four foot barracuda, tons of rice, calalou (the Sao Tomean national dish) and a few improvised hot dogs. There was plenty of beer (Paul planned most of the party and this was top priority), as well as wine and sodas. I would guess we had around 60 guests throughout the day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, including ourselves, the hosts.

Our group with some local friends.

That night we were invited to a big party at the Beach Club, a very upscale discotheque. We got to the party around 11 and by 11:45 the dance floor started to heat up. Sao Tomean dancing is much more fun than American dancing because people actually dance! Danielle and I hit the floor throughout the night and it was a great time. The one complaint I have about their dancing is that their slow dances turn everyone into napping zombies on the floor. People don’t move and they rest their heads on each other while tens of couples stand nearly motionless for two or three songs in a row.

A view of the full beach from our almost private beach.

We left the club very late and during our party we had agreed to go snorkeling with the Taiwanese doctors on island at 9am. That hour came far too soon but we drove to a beach on the north end of the island near the blue lagoon. We drove to a beach that could only be reached by a 4x4 and it felt like we arrived at our own personal beach. The sand was soft and had about 40 feet of ocean between two high rocky outcrops. Chika, Ashley and I went with Dr. Wang and another physician although only Dr. Wang had a snorkel even though he failed to find any fish. The water was cool and I spent a while out swimming while Chika practiced using my camera and Ashley looked at the water from the safety of the sand because she fears sharks. There are only hammerhead sharks (won’t attack humans) near the island and there have been no shark attacks according to locals. We headed back after a while and later went to Ned’s to spend the afternoon reading, blogging, or like me: listening to music while drifting in a hammock at the end of his pier.

Myself playing with Ashley's underwater camera.

It was a bit cold that early in the morning.

-XO Mike

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