Sunday, August 29, 2010

West Africa to a Western Hoedown

Summer parties are the best!  It's always a fun experience to celebrate the different twists and turns of life with friends and family. This party celebrated a very special young friend's much anticipated return from Africa, where she had been living as a Fulbright scholar for several months.  Emi had to endure lots of challenges in the past year as she did her research on malaria-illness, bugs, heat, lack of technology, a strike at the college where she was to do her research-to name just a few. Obviously, her life was enriched by the people she met as well, but it was a relief to her family and friends to have her home safe and sound.     
Emi brought back some treasures from Benin, where she lived in the city and at nearby village.
Emi and her Mom, put together an African feast, see below:
They had Enjara, a bread served with a spicy chicken stew, goat kabobs, plantains, plus, lots of other dishes that I don't know the names of.
Lovely Emi, with her interesting hairdo, which took 11 hours and cost about $6.  We're so pround of you Emi!
After leaving the African party, we headed across town for a Hoedown, hosted by one of the choir members from church.  The owner of the house in an architect, and had converted a rundown Portland bungalow into marvel.  It reminded me of a classic LA house from the 30's with Spanish influences and subtle elegance.  It was a beautiful summer night and we sat outside eating quintessentially American fare, hamburgers and hot dogs, and salads, while the brave among us square danced to live music.
The end of a lovely summer day filled with rich memories and cultural diversity.

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