Ok so for all of the traveling I have done, I have really only celebrated a handful or so of July 4ths not in the US. I think I spent one in France, a couple in Germany and three in Papua New Guinea. I remember being at school on July 4th while I was in Germany and a couple friends greeting me with “Alles gute zum vierte Juli!” (Happy 4th of July). I was confused at first because when said in German, July 4th is just a date and not a holiday.
In Papua New Guinea (at least in Ukarumpa), everyone is happy enough to have an excuse to celebrate whether or not they are Americans. Almost everyone in Ukarumpa gathers for traditional American food (read: potato salad, grilling meat, watermelon, etc.) and steel wool fun. In the village things are a bit different but it’s still an excuse to pass out American flags and entertain the children with our after-dark antics.
I am really happy to be able to celebrate today with my feet on American soil. It’s different not being able to spin steel wool around and make our own light show but the fireworks in Santa Barbara tonight should be pretty great. The best part about the holiday is just being able to be with friends, and of course, enjoying the freedom and blessings that we have just being Americans.