Happy 4th of July, all you Americans out there! And a very happy birthday to my Dad! Always gets a parade and fireworks for his birthday…
Anyway, this was my first Independence Day outside of the country, which made it seem very much like a normal Thursday. Except that I spent most of the day listening to patriotic tunes and putting together a lesson about the day for my advanced English class at the Dar Chabab. There’s only one day a year where I find myself with enough tolerance for John Phillip Sousa to actually enjoy listening to it. Or maybe it’s because I wasn’t marching a two-mile parade route in full wool uniform. My fellow marching band enthusiasts, I salute you.
The big highlight of my day today was my Dar Chabab lesson. I made up a few slides on my computer to help illustrate the history of American independence (in 5 minutes) and the various celebrations that go on throughout the day back home. Like eating cake decorated to look like your country’s flag. Also, did you know that red, white, and blue stand for hardiness, purity, and perseverance/justice? Just one of the many tidbits I found out in my research today.
One of the facts I found out about our history of independence back in January, but feel is most applicable today, is that Morocco was the first country to recognize the U.S. as a sovereign nation! Back in 1777, a little more than a year after the Declaration of Independence was signed. And Morocco continues to be one of the longest-standing relationships my home country has had, which makes me extra proud to be a Peace Corps Volunteer serving here.
So after taking my class through the pictures I had prepared, we listened to The Star Spangled Banner as a fill-in-the-blank exercise. I gave them a sheet with the lyrics to the national anthem with some of the words blanked out. Their job was to fill in the missing words.
And finally, we broke out the sparklers! I was probably way more excited for this part of the evening than they were, but we had our own sparkler party while I imagined being at the Lower Harbor in Marquette watching the fireworks go off. I contented myself with a turkey and tomato sandwich for dinner. And lemonade.
While you’re out watching the fireworks tonight, please think of everyone who isn’t in their home country for whatever reason. We miss it!