And we did have the opportunity to celebrate with the community the Saturday before, but we didn't. Brandon had spent seven hours at a conference that Saturday and he just wasn't up to spending a few more hours away from home out in the heat while shepherding all six (really five) children around to get their food, play the games, etc. Add to that a five-month old baby and it equals thanks-but-no-thanks. Instead we watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while eating amazingly delicious Chinese food. Seriously. If there's one thing you can get here, it's really tasty, really cheap ($18.32 to feed the whole family) Chinese food.
The actual Fourth itself was on a Tuesday and Brandon had work off. Since it was a holiday, we had to follow the Sherwood Family Holiday Rule (no work and all play). Some friends invited us to go to Delphin, a local waterpark, so we spent the morning riding waterslides and swimming in the pool. Delphin is actually one of the best-run institutions I've seen in Dushanbe and the kids love going and riding all of the big waterslides. The three oldest have perfected the art of arguing (I'm not sure how I feel about that) and badger the lifeguards into allowing them to ride all the slides even if some of them technically aren't old enough to ride. All can swim, so that's good enough for me.
While Brandon and I were lounging in the sun by the pool (yes, it's a hard life sometimes), we both developed an intense desire for french fries and then hamburgers and finally chocolate malts. One of the best things about being adults is that when those cravings strike, there's nothing but responsibility to stop you from indulging in all of them at once. Luckily, we didn't let responsibility stop us this time. After all, it's a holiday, right? And 'merica! And deep-fried potatoes! And charcoal-cooked meat! And ice cream! After all, we would be neglectful parents if we didn't teach our children about their heritage.
This being Tajikistan, we had to make almost everything from scratch. Luckily, the local grocery store had hamburger buns so that part was taken care of. Also we live around the corner from an ice cream factory so we didn't have to make the ice cream either. Okay, so we had to make the hamburgers and french fries from scratch.
But a few hours later we had our feast assembled and settled down to watch Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert in Drums Along the Mohawk. As we watched the couple battle natives while various farms burned down, we all enjoyed our feast and the warm glow of appreciation for those who gave birth to the nation that we're proud to be a part of.
Patriotism is becoming somewhat unfashionable these days, so I guess I'll just have to be unfashionable and say that I love America, and I love it more than any other country in the world. Which I should, seeing as I am an American. God Bless America!