My 7 roommates and I all got ready together. It was weird to see all of us struggling for space in the mirror, because on a regular day, we hardly ever use it. Guess that’s what college is going to be like next year! Anyways, we all got dressed up and met everyone in the midshipman’s lounge. It was so strange to see everyone with make-up on and their hair done because…well…no one really dresses up! I felt like I was on a cruise : )
We managed to get everyone to the President’s house using multiple buses & the President’s headquarters were HUGE! We were all filed into a room that could probably fit my whole house in it, and we talked & drank in there for about an hour while they set up the room we were going to eat dinner in.
The room that we ate dinner in was arranged in such a way that I felt like I was at a wedding reception. The tables were elegantly dressed, along with the chairs & everything else in the room. The main colors were orange and white & there were people serving us everywhere I looked. As the President walked into the room, we all stood up as their country’s anthem played over the speakers. Several long speeches were given & a gift was given to the President from Mr. Mercy Ship himself. We were standing the whole time the speeches were going on (in French, then English), so everyone was so relieved when we finally got to sit down.
The food was served buffet style, with rice, cous-cous, plantains, lamb, fish, rabbit, fruit, and this white stuff that looked like jello but tasted like sour milk with lemon. Along with the meal, entertainment was provided! There were all kinds of dances & costumes floating around the room. Some sang, while others hit drums and shook the bells on their ankles. One man, wearing a scary costume, walked by me while I was waiting in line for food…his face was veiled and he wacked me with a stick that had a pony tail looking thing sticking out of it! I was shocked, but had to laugh because it was so random and my friend Michelle was standing next to me and was laughing too because she saw the whole thing. Then I turned around and saw a bunch of guards laughing as well. Random, but part of the memorable night.
Later, we finished dinner, said good bye to the President, the headed back to the ship. Altogether, the night lasted about 6 hours! It was a long night, but a once in a life time opportunity.