Thursday, March 13, 2008
An International Weekend
We had a very international couple of days. On Friday, we went to join our friend Rocio at her naturalization ceremony. It was fun. There were 65 new citizens being sworn in. At one point, two of the candidates were asked to speak to the group; the first gentleman was from Beirut, and had left with his family at the age of 5 during the civil war there. He told us how he always considered himself an American, and was very proud to become a citizen of a land where he knows he is safe from all he experienced as a child. The other guy was from Canada; he followed a woman to Las Vegas, and then decided he couldn't be just a retired guy, but needed to be in uniform, so became a citizen so he could be a Nevada Highway Patrolman. The judge was happy -- he said swearing in new citizens was the most enjoyable responsibility of a federal judge. And Rocio was positively glowing; besides us, her husband and four kids were there. Much happiness all around.
The next day we were invited to a celebratory party for our friend Murad's new baby Jeannette. Murad -- who calls himself Joe professionally -- is a Tunisian jack-of-all-trades. We were meeting his wife and family and friends for the first time. Turns out his wife is Bosnian, and their friends are from places like Iran and Iraq, so the air was full of several dialects of Arabic and Serbian. Delightfully international. The house itself was out in the area called Aliante, which is way far from anything, the distant suburbs, even distanter than the distant suburbs we're used to.