Fourth of July celebrations were always very interesting in Nepal. First of all the the US committe always celebrated on the 3rd, the 4th being reserved for the "offical" celebration on the US Embassy grounds dor all of the diplomats. However, most diplomats crashed the un-offical 3rd celebration. We would start off with a barbecue with the typical fare beef, that was flown up on the ambassadors plane from Siagon. ( remember Nepal is a Buddiest-Hindu relgion so beef is very hard to come by, and at that at this time the American ambassador to Vietnam was married to the Madame Ambassador to Nepal.) The ambassadors flight was a god send for obtaining goods from the Siagon PX. After gorging ourselves, the infamous Beer ball game would start the US Marine guard VS all comers, every base hit, you must chug a beer with very frequent "refreshment" breaks for the field players because of the heat. We had all sorts of people show up, Peace Corps, USAID, the Dooley Girls, and various brave souls from the diplomatic missions and private contract personnel. Around 4 o'clock the daily Monsoon would hit, pouring down in buckets for at least an hour, this stopped the "base" ball game, but started the full tackle "mud ball" game for the die hard sport fans. When the rain stopped, people wouls start getting ready for the fire works. We had some great displays. The Nepalese army would bring in a battery of cannon drawn by elephants and the ground would shake and the sky lit up by the aerial displays. The party would continue in the wee ours of the morning with dancing, eating and drinking, finally we would head home to rest up for the offical fourth, which started with a sit down dinner fireworks coffe, brandy,and cigars at 9:30 very proper, still not very much work was completed the rest of the week. However it was the talk of the town for months.
I don't think it was quite as fancy, but I do remember the 4th of July at Site 23 and riding a camel for the 1st time. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever done! Oh to be young again.
The 4th of July was usually a blowout. When I was in Jordan 1960-67, I would tag along with my Dad when he would go out in he field, and to get away from my evil sister, one time we spent a week out in Azraq, an oasis out in the Jordanian desert, where Dad was running some water pump and pipe line tests. To keep me out of his hair he had me ride with the Arab Legion, who was mounted on camels after being stomped, kicked. spit, and shat upon; camels have really lost their romance and appeal. However the smell lingered on for a while which my mother will testify to when i got back home to Amman. I just look at them from a far at the Zoo. P.S. Camel milk tastes as bad as they smell, which would really ruin your billy of breakfast tea.
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