Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Monday, September 27, 2004


Ever since I moved in with Dave and Hannah at the beginning of July they have encouraged me to have my friends over. Even when they went on holiday to Ghana for three weeks Dave said, "Go ahead and have as many parties as you want!" And he meant it. But I've never been much of a party girl. I prefer to hang out with a small group of friends and share a bottle of wine. I stress out when I try to throw a party - what if no one comes? what if people don't have fun? what about the food? what should I make? what if they don't like it? what music should i play? should we all just hang out or play a game or watch a movie later? AHHH!!! So when Dave insisted I have a going away party I found myself reluctantly agreeing and setting the date: Sunday, 26 September.

I decided to go with a Texas theme - since that's where I'm going. And I planned to make Tex-Mex food - salsa, guacamole, 7-layer dip, quesadillas, nachos. And I thought I'd top it off with a few Caronas and limes. Well, when we went shopping on Saturday Dave told me to fill up a trolley with all the food and he'll fill up a trolley with all the drinks. Drinking is widely accepted in this culture, so Christians have no problem going to a pub and having a pint or throwing back a few beers with friends. Dave especially. So he bought a case of Stella Artois lager along with six bottles of wine plus eight Sols (since they didn't have Carona). For the non-drinkers he bought one liter of Coke and one liter of Diet Coke. I couldn't help but laugh and shake my head.

My stress over the party was magnified considering I had to have it the night I finished my three waking nights at the Nightshelter. I also wanted to go to church since it was my last Sunday in Bedford. So yesterday morning I finished work at 9:30 a.m., I walked home, took a shower, got dressed, and went straight to church. When I got home from church I took a nap because I knew I would be shattered by the time 7:30 rolled around and guests started arriving. Unfortunately, a three hour nap didn't add up to much. But I got up anyway and I started cooking at 4:30 and finished around 8. Dave and Hannah were amazing because they had cleaned the house and re-arranged the lounge while I was sleeping!

People came to my party! And they ate the food and loved it! All but four people didn't know what the quesadillas were (my American friend Sarah makes quesadillas for her British husband, Richard, and I had made some for Dave and Hannah a few weeks before), but they ate them anyway, calling them "yummy pancake things." It was very hard for me not to shake my head in disgust at their ignorance. Much to Dave's delight, many people partook in his drinks. And despite Richard's comments about the drunk Americans, Sarah and I were most definitely NOT drunk (although Sarah's clumsy nature didn't help her cause, nor did me telling people there was more wine in the "rine wack").

My party was a success and I am overwhelmed by the friendships I have developed here in just a few short weeks. I was also blessed with gifts of chocolates and goodbye cards. So I must thank Dave and Hannah for pushing me to have my party, although it did make leaving all the more real and hard. *sigh* I can say with confidence: "My cup runneth over."

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