Nathan and I spent a quiet 4th of July at home by ourselves (Jarred's still in the States on business). He had his weekly exercise class at the gym, then after I put him to bed, I stayed up and watched The Patriot. I had been hoping the US Embassy would host some holiday festivities -- for Nathan's sake more than mine -- but it turned out that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was arriving that very day, so the embassy staff was working overtime to prepare for her visit. I understand that her trip was a success -- she even walked the Yerevan streets from the Presidential Palace to the Marriott in Republic Square (nearly 2 miles) so she could see the city. This of course made life very difficult for security personnel, but this country is so safe, and Armenians LOVE the Obama administration, so they really had nothing to worry about!
For those interested, you can read the embassy news writeup of Secretary Clinton's activities HERE, and view a transcript of a short speech she made to staff and guests at the embassy, including some of our students and their families, in the latest issue of our embassy newsletter HERE (download the PDF).
After Secretary Clinton left, embassy staff collectively breathed a sigh of relief ...and then the party started! Nathan and I attended a wonderful Independence Day celebration held at the embassy's recreational area, Gilmore Field, on the night of the 8th. Nathan had a great time! He ate pasta salad, corn on the cob, cherry pie and ice cream, and Ambassador Yovanovich personally poured drinks for everyone! Afterwards, he participated in the kids' parade, riding his loyal steed, Clip-Clop, who was beautifully dressed for the occasion. While there were many other activities for children throughout the evening -- fishing for prizes, face painting, water balloons, and a movie -- all that little boy wanted to do was play on the playground and in the bounce house from 7:30 to 10:15...the only reason he stopped was because it was time for the fireworks display, which he enjoyed tremendously, smiling and clapping the whole time!
Happy birthday, USA!