Monday, July 05, 2010
Unlike all of you normal Americans who get the 5th of July off of work as Independence Day (Observed), those of us in the part of the world where Sundays are work days got the actual 4th of July off as Independence Day (Observed (Observed)). Sort of. At least, we worked less.
Saturday was the Big Official National Day reception, where we hosted a thousand Afghans and had speeches by the Ambassador and General Petraeus, about which you can find coverage in other press outlets. As with every Embassy, this was a working event for all employees. Your humble correspondent pulled duty checking VIP invitations and decorating the grounds with one million tiny American flags.
On Sunday, we had the Embassy Community Event, i.e., the 4th of July party where you're actually allowed to have fun. Both the American and Afghan staff at the Embassy were invited, and the Afghans brought their families, which was great - a glimpse of a side of Afghan life we usually don't see (however abstracted from real Afghan family life the behavior at a work function might be). There were lots of kids dressed in their finest princess outfits and velour tuxes. There was Afghan music, and then the Embassy house band ("Danger Pay") played rock covers for a while (as seen above).
The staff photographer had a fine time and took a lot of pictures of the various attendees, carefully avoiding any shots with backgrounds including top secret buildings or fences. While many of the Afghans were quite eager to have their picture taken, and some of the pictures even turned out ok, I'm still a bit nervous about posting them on the internets, since not all the Afghan staff are super-excited about advertising the fact that they work for the U.S. Embassy. Not that I think the Taliban are avid readers of the Holla. But still.
I hope the fine people of Danger Pay aren't similarly upset about having their likeness on the interwebs, but that's the risk they take being rock stars.