Holiday Party Season Begins

 

Last night Nadia and I attended the first of many holiday parties. The school held its annual Christmas party at the US Ambassador’s Residence. As you can see, Nadia was looking absolutely radiant! It is great to have such a beautiful wife.

It was a fun evening with lots of laughs. Below are two of our friends, Verica and Marianna. I would like to thank Ambassador Warlick for opening the official residence to us.

Family Journal: Friday July 3, 2009

 

This is the big 4th of July weekend in the USA. Ocean and Ollie are shown above in Grandpa’s garage on the John Deere riding lawnmower. Ocean’s looks are changing every day! I spent the morning with these two as Nadia and Owen went for a run on the Appple Blossom Trail. I took them in the wagon over to the Caspian Community Center playground. In the afternoon we headed over to my brother’s home in Iron Mountain. Shelly was putting on my nephew’s birthday party. She rented a bouncy castle and they set up the swimming pool. Despite the cold water and cooler temps, the kids and I enjoyed swimming. The highlight of the party was the neighbors lighting the smoke stack across the street. There is a 50-meter smoke stack ear Jim’s house that was left by the mining companies. There were many iron mines in the area in the early part of last century. It was known at the Menominee Range and millions of tons of iron ore were shipped to Chicago and Detroit from here. Today all that are left are museums, open pits that have turned into lakes, and huge underground caverns and shafts that are largely unexplored and occasionally cave in. This was an era before the Environmental Protection Agency forced mining companies to clean up and restore the landscape when they were finished.

The Fire Truck Puts Out the Fire as the Kids Enjoy the Party
The Fire Truck Puts Out the Fire as the Kids Enjoy the Party

Anyway, unknown persons lit tires in the bottom of the unused smokestack in honor of a relative who passed away this week. He used to do this occasionally on the 4th. A while later, the Iron Mountain City fire truck came and put it out. I think it was unneccesary as it was not a fire hazard and only causing a bit of pollution. The police asked us who did it and we said we didn’t see anyone lighting it (true).

Owen slept over his cousin’s house and we took his little brother Beau.

Ocean and Nadia
Ocean and Nadia

ISB Faculty Calls It A Year

 

We hosted the International School of Belgrade’s  annual end-of-year party last night at our home. There were over 100 people in attendance and everyone had an enjoyable evening. The school honored the people leaving and celebrated the end of a rewarding school year. In the education business, our year runs from August to June and we are all excited to embark on our travels during the summer holidays.

Owen and Ollie are shown above pushing the glow lanterns. Ethan and Jamie lit 8 of these big paper lanterns that after the brick below gets going, they soar upwards and away. One got caught in the tree of our neighbors and another almost hit their terrace, but all made it out of the neighborhood. A nice tradition started! Ethan saw these used for New Year’s celebrations in Thailand.

The Faculty Band
The Faculty Band
Several faculty members have a rock band that plays in pubs in the city and they graciously played for us last night. It was impressive how much original music they have. Nadia and I felt like we were finally experiencing the legendary night life of Belgrade – in our back yard. I would like to thank Chris, Kay, and Sava and their bandmates for playing. Having live music at a party brings it up a notch!
The goodbyes were done well. The Sunshine Committee of the school organized it with a friend of the departing person speaking about them. A much better method than having administration talking about each person.
The school provided the food and drinks and the maintenance crew worked hard with the set up and arrangements. There was a big wind storm last night that blew over many of the tents but none were lost or broken.
It was a fantastic way to give closure to my first year at ISB. I am looking forward to the summer holidays and refreshing my mind and body for 2009-2010.
Goodbye!
Goodbye!