The Caledonian Society, a community of Scottish expatriates
in Lebanon, organized the St. Andrew's Ball, held in honor of the Patron
Saint of Scotland. The ball took place on November 28, at the Century Plaza
Hotel in Kaslik, a suburb just north of Beirut. This was my first St. Andrew's
Ball, while Tracy has attended many of them in Colombo and Jakarta. In
preparation for the event, we joined some members of the Committee in their
dance practice sessions. It was a terrific evening, and here are few photos
to give you a taste of it.
After proceeding down the stairs to the State Hall and being impressively greeted by our first kilted friend of the evening, our next encounter with Scottish culture came in the form of bagpipes. Stephen, a Scottish soldier and bagpiper par excellence, was flown in from nearby Cyprus for the occasion. He played every time guests arrived -- all 200 of them!
Next, guests were greeted by the Chieftan of the Caledonian Society, Graeme
Scott and his wife, Ailene. Graehme was among the first people we met when
we arrived in Beirut -- we ran into him on our first trip to the grocery
store, and discovered they're ACS parents. They have gone out of their
way to make us feel a part of this community, keeping us abreast of and
giving us a lift to dance practices, while serving as the chief coordinators
for the ball. The Scotts are fun-loving people!
we are returning from our evening's first attempt at Scottish Country Dancing,
"The Gay Gordons." The ball itself was a multi-layered event: a wonderful
dinner, speeches, a demonstration of dancing by the Society's members,
and then Scottish Country Dancing alternating with disco for the crowd
of diverse expatriate and Lebanese guests. The tartan plaid Tracy wears
was offered her by Ailene the day of the dance...and inspired us to go
out and buy a dress (that afternoon, in one of the boutiques outside our
lovely hotel) that would go well with it! It was an honor for her to sport
that sash, and a first for her at a Saint Andrew's Ball.
is Tracy demonstrating her response to "Ladies, under!", as I attempt to
remain upright. The dancing was loads of fun, and the revelry lasted until
about 2:30 in the morning. Tracy's note: As Dale has allowed me to step
in here, to edit or do with his text as I will, I feel obliged to mention
that Dale received many compliments by Committee members on his dancing
-- he was amazing!!
shared a table with several members of the ACS faculty and their family.
Counterclockwise from Dale are: Gigi Roche, Richard Leydet, Mr. and Mrs.
Bolz (the parents of Jennifer Wallace, seated next to them) Steven Wallace,
Laurie Schmitt, Nathan Taylor, and Tracy (callously obscured by our waiter/photographer).
we are at the table, taking a break from the festivities. The worst thing
about St. Andrew's is that it happens only once a year!
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