Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Armed Forces Day party today ROCKED! (And the world didn’t end :-)

I am so pleased. I took the lead on this event and really had to throw it together last minute and without a lot of resources because we were denied food service support from the dining facility. I had already booked the Combat Stress Dog for the event so we wanted to still do something to celebrate the day and in the end, the party was a huge success and we ended up with far more support and resources than expected. I think we probably had somewhere between 50-60 people over the course of the two hours.

So I did most of the set up from 5-6pm. It took us a while to get the grill going because of this STUPID wind storm that won't quit so we started the grill around 5:15pm. The Special Forces guys learned that our food service request was denied and as such had told us they would supply whatever we needed. Around noon today they dropped off tons of steak and burgers and hot dogs plus all the condiments. Then once we realized the amount of food we had (when we had advertised the event as a dessert party) one of our volunteers stepped up and purchased 5 bags of chips, 4x dozen cans of pop, plastic plates and silverware! So pretty much all we provided was the desserts. I made up plates and plates of Girl Scout Cookies and then we baked a chocolate cake and an apples strudel in the oven we have in the office. Our team leader was experimenting with recipes since we don’t have access to things like eggs out here and we managed to put together some pretty creative desserts (the ingredients for the strudel came from oatmeal packets and little individual butter servings taken from the dining facility. The Chocolate cake was frosted with chocolate pudding that came from a Snack Pack! )

I had one of my teammate’s iPod speakers hooked into my laptop and we were playing music and the combat stress dog was a huge hit, tearing around and playing fetch and slobbering all over everyone. I had advertised the event with flyers that I put up around the base and then I went through the military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) to advertise the event on the base website and to the base wide listservs. A ton of our friends showed up and it was SUCH an international crowd, there were at least American, British, Kiwi, Australian, Norwegian and UAE that I managed to count, plus a bunch of civilians and contractors. Our office is very difficult to find in our camp so I got at least one email from a friend saying he couldn’t find it and had to give up which makes me wonder how many others might have showed.

We had our emergency message queue covered by the other stations until 8pm and then from 8-9pm I was going from watching the queue and working cases to cleaning up the mess. Easily one of the best nights I’ve had in Afghanistan. Nothing like hosting a party to make the war disappear :-)

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