Monday, 1 September 2008

A Day of Sweet Labor

So as you might imagine, holidays go largely uncelebrated in a war zone.  Knowing that everyone on base would spend Labor Day not at BBQs drinking beer with family and friends, but in a foreign desert toiling away just as any other day, I plotted to do something unique on Labor Day. 

Although we do have a grill at our office, we didn't have the man power to do a full fledged BBQ so I aimed to come up with a similar alternative. I have no idea where this idea came from since we live in a perpetual furnace, but somewhere in the recesses of my mind I connected BBQ with toasting S'mores. And there you had it, an unusual taste of home and a tribute to the coming fall.

The trick was would we be able to get the supplies--because there in lay the novelty of s'mores. There is rarely, if ever, a chocolate bar to be found on base since they simply can't stand the heat during transport over and marshmellows?  Why? So I contacted the one person who I knew had the determination to make my plan momma. Within 24 hours she had shipped us a box with packages of graham crackers, chocolate bars and lovely marshmellows.  

I am pleased to say the ingredients survived the trip (although the chocolate had melted and the bars arrived totally deformed-they perked up after refrigeration though). To build our camp fire, my teammates and I took two weeks worth of the confidential material with are tasked to burn as the method of confiscation and made a bonfire in our burn barrel. And finally, since there are certainly no trees in Iraq that bear sticks I shimmied the American flags off of our 4th of July decorations and used the wooden poles of the flags to serve as sticks. Hey, this is for bettering the morale of the soldiers serving the flag right?! Circle of life.

And our evening was a success with so many commenting on how long it had been since they'd had a s'more and how on earth did we come up with the ingredients. The telephone company that sponsors our calling center was offering free calling all day long so the office was packed and there we were, gathered around a fire in the 115 degree heat toasting the end of another summer in Iraq.

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