And so do a lot of people in Malawi. There is a small but vibrant Irish community here who make sure that St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in style.
We had two St. Patrick’s day celebrations. The first was a classy affair at one of the old tea plantations. Four Irish musicians and two Irish dancers played and danced on a beautiful Sunday afternoon while we enjoyed lunch on the lawn. The Irish ambassador was even there and generously offered the entire gathering a round of drinks with our lunch.
Our second celebration of St. Patrick was this past Saturday. The annual party is held at Doogles, a popular local bar, and raises funds for a community-based project. The organizers worked for weeks and on the day of the party, there was a raffle, a recreation of an Irish pub, live music, Irish flags, green jello shots, two life-size leprechauns, and perhaps most importantly, plenty of Guinness.
The event was made even more exciting by the ‘coin of contention,’ which could be dropped in anyone’s glass at any time and the glass’ owner had to immediately finish their drink.
Rugby was projected onto a large screen and the Irish and English had a good time talking trash to one another as their two teams took to the pitch. Sandy and I had a good time talking about how much better American football is than rugby.
While no one got in the swimming pool this year (as they did last year) it was a really good time – and I feel that we honored the holiday in typical “my family has lived in the United States for generations, but somewhere in my family tree someone is definitely Irish” style.