I normally don’t post blog postings on the day to day occurrences of Nate’s and my life, and even less about intimate or romantic happenings, but this story I would like to share is mostly for me to remember the details of this night, as our blog is very much a journal of our Peace Corps experience, and also to share how romance doesn’t need to be an expensive gesture, just a thoughtful one.
Early last week, Nate had told me that the shop that we buy all of our dry goods was having a family dinner and that they had invited us down after 5:30pm to come and eat with them. I was excited to hear that we were invited out for dinner, because our weekends are often pretty mundane and we also didn’t have to cook or clean a meal. Awesome! Friday morning rolled around and as Nate was leaving for the river he reminded me that I needed to be ready by 6pm sharp to go down to dinner. I wondered why so punctual, nothing ever starts on time.
Nate arrived at 5:20pm and quickly got changed and started packing a bag. He told me we needed to bring our own silverware and plates as this dinner had turned into quite the event and they wouldn’t have enough plates and silverware for all the guests. I was a little surprised that the shop that sells dry goods didn’t have enough plates, but I didn’t think anything of it. I got dressed and as we began walking outside a neighbour of ours called Nate and told us to stay put, he came and picked us up in a car and took us down to the market where the party was supposed to be. Once again, didn’t think anything of it, just thought we got lucky with a free drop. When we arrived at the shop, I saw our wonderful dry good ladies Auntie Joan and Auntie Kay still working at the shop. They told us to go ahead and head upstairs for the gathering. I was a bit confused why the two women who were hosting the party weren’t at the party, but I figured we were just early as usual.
On top of the shop, there is a really nice space that used to be a little restaurant. It is no longer in use, but it still has all the amenities of a restaurant. Nice table, chairs, a full kitchen, fridge, sound system etc. As we walked upstairs I heard music, but I didn’t see anyone or anything set up. I turned around and told Nate, that we must be really early because there is no one here. He smiled and said, “Happy Six Years Baby.” I looked back at the space and then back at him with a very confused look on my face since our wedding anniversary is in December and it’s the end of May, and we have only been married for 3 years. Before I could get any words out, he hugged me and said “Today six years ago we began dating. I wanted to take you on a date today to say that I hope we continue dating for at least another six years.” As we continue walking inside there was a table set with candles, slow jam music playing on the stereo and a few ice cold beers waiting for us to drink. He had set it all up. Our neighbour who picked us up was catering our dinner; he had made chicken curry, roti, fried rice, channa and awesome rum cake. Our dry shop lady’s had given us the space upstairs for the night and even gave us a sweet appetizer of fresh watermelon.
It was truly one of the most thoughtful gestures. It is not often that we get to go on a “real date” here in the Peace Corps, but Nate used our community of friends and neighbours to make a really memorable night. I know I am gushing mushing love stuff, but Friday night will be one of my most cherished memories of Peace Corps with my incredible partner. Thank you for bringing romance into my life, even in the jungles of South America. I love you.
P.S. There are no pictures since Nate carrying a camera would have tipped off the surprise. If you know me, you know I love to ask questions.
Till next time.