KOMU.com Extra: 4th of July Abroad
Janelle Thacker, Age 22, lived in Zimbabwe
I am half American half South African. I lived all over Africa for 14 years. My father is an All-American man, and therefore every year we would try and celebrate the 4th of July as best we could. However, the most memorable one was after living in Zimbabwe for 3 years. A new American ambassador had thrown a huge 4th of July party for all the Americans in the country. First of all it had been 3 years since I had seen that many Americans. I was so excited because they had a bunch of American food shipped in. After 3 years of having products that I, at the time, did not think were as good as American - I was in heaven! After eating, they had a bike parade for the children. All of us kids got to decorate our bikes with American decorations and then parade around the yard! To end the night there was a fire works show to remember! In Zimbabwe at that time we had never seen fireworks because it was extremely hard to come by them. It was one of the most memorable Independence Days.
Mikayla Helin, Age 17, lived in Spain
BBQs, fireworks, games…all part of a typical 4th of July here in America . As a kid I always loved it. But a Spanish 4th of July is a little different. While my family and I are in Spain we have our own little 4th of July celebration. As an American it is considered a little rude setting off fireworks in a foreign country so firework online simulaters are about as good as it gets. So my whole family would crowd into our office, turn off the lights, play patriotic music, and watch our firework show on the computer screen. Afterward we would go and make smores outside with our Barbeque (there arent real fireplaces indoors). I always loved celebrating overseas because you begin to truly appreciate your country for what its worth, and you get a whole lot more creative with celebration ideas.
Rebekah Wiseman, Age 19, lived in Guatemala:
We did not really celebrate the 4th of July in Guatemala . Its not that were not patriotic, but we were just so busy and had so much to do with ministry we really didnt think about US holidays. We always we[re] more up-to-date with the Guatemalan holidays.
Rebekah Rojak, Age 20, lived in Vanuatu , South Pacific
My mother and I would start planning weeks ahead and would go around to all the stores looking for American food and things we could use as decorations. We contacted the others missionaries to see who was going to be in town (we all lived on different islands) and invite them to join us. We couldnt get any fireworks but we did have sparklers. We would all wear patriotic colors and usually have a cake decorated like the American flag.