Sunday, 12 April 2009

An Easter Birthday

My Easter weekend was exhausting and enjoyable. Saturday was my team's first experience with hosting the monthly birthday party for servicemembers and civilians. We took some risks with this event as previously the event was held in the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation- essentially a Rec center) which is in the building where we work. The event was not very well attended according to the team we replaced so we decided to move the event to the DFAC because not only did we need to pick up the cake from the DFAC, but why not host the event where everyone already goes to eat?

So we reserved one of the overflow rooms in the DFAC and I went over early, at 4:00pm, to meet some of the Air Force guys who wanted to volunteer for the event and we went crazy decorating the room with streamers, balloons, candy and posters. We set up a gift table where those with birthdays could chose a gift, a red cross mug or water bottle plus a calling card and the chance to win our raffle which was two fleece blankets, and two gift certificates to the PX. We put in an Eagles CD and had a beautiful cake with real frosting. We stationed the Air Force guys at the doors to invite people with April birthdays and their friends to attend. Although the room was slow to fill up (we need to do it an hour later and on a weeknight!), by the end of the hour the room was relatively full and people really seemed to enjoy themselves and appreciate the event.

After the party I was back at the office to work the rest of my shift and then again found myself staying up until 5:45am so that I could run the Easter 5k at 6:30am. Unlike my inaugural Tikriti 5k, this morning was clear and cool. I met my running buddy at the stadium and since neither of us was feeling in top shape this morning our understanding was simply that we'd run it to finish. The run was gorgeous with clear blue sky and sunshine off to the West and for once, the mountains were visible in the East with purple clouds rolling in above their peaks.

Although we kept good pace, you can imagine my shock when I crossed the finish and had dropped over a minute since the last 5k!!! That was a welcome surprise! Afterwards it was a walk back to my CHU and 6 hours of sleep before I was up again to work my Easter shift. I had received a few Easter packages from friends and family so there was no lack of chocolate eggs and jelly beans. After a quiet shift, the night worker and I headed out to midnight chow and were treated to a stunning electrical storm that was sweeping across the desert plain. Words fail to explain the awesome power and beauty that ravaged the sky, but we decided to pull off the side of the road and just sit and watch the brillance as another Easter came to a close.

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