Thursday, April 5, 2012

St Patrick's Day in Kenya - Part 2

As promised here is the second installation from my Paddy's Day adventures in Nairobi.

The life of a VSO volunteer is rarely a glamorous one. Saturday mornings spent scrubbing mud and dust out of one's trousers. Commutes which involve skirting along or shimmying along a digger (as I had to do one afternoon this week). But last weekend I was given the opportunity to put on a nice dress, put some lipstick on, and head to a Ball. The Kenya Irish Society's St Patrick's Day Ball to be precise. This was all thanks to my fairy godmother, aka Laura Bennison, who got me a ticket at the last minute. I haven't been to a Ball in years. Not since my Trinity days probably- when you would go to as many department/society balls as you could afford, wearing swapped dresses and with a sneaky naggin in your purse. Good times.

The Ball is the highlight of the Kenya Irish Society's event calendar. Who are the Kenya Irish Society? In brief they are a group of Irish, and almost Irish, or friends of the Irish, that organise events for Irish people here. They have the odd table quiz, they have golf tournaments, and there is even talk of a céilí in May. (They are also the wonderful people who provided me with some turkey, roast potatoes and gravy at this Christmas lunch in December as written about here) But the ball - the proceeds of which go to a number of local charities and NGOs - is the highlight of their social calendar. The Hilton Hotel was decked out in Green, White and Gold for the occasion, and they even arranged for a band, Shillelagh to come over from Ireland and play for the evening. The food was wonderful (and even included an Irish themed dessert), the band played a mix of folk-y Irish tunes (Hills of Donegal, Dirty Old Town) country and western music, and solid wedding music favourites - a mix which pleased all of the generations that were in attendance and ensured the dancefloor was packed all evening. We even had a short céilí (set) dance which I LOVED. And made me hanker a little bit for another summer in the Gaeltacht.

I could keep typing but I think the pictures below give you a better flavour of the night!

The Irish flag flying proudly next to the
Kenyan one outside the Hilton.

There was green, white and orange everywhere. They could
have done with mine and Laura's banner though I reckon!

Posing with the beautiful Lisa whose dress was the
 perfect shade of green for the occasion.

Laura Bennison and I - complete with Irish pins.

Slightly blurry shot of the ballroom but you get the idea.

I think we are attempting to do a jig here. Or a reel. We're
definitely faux Irish dancing though going by the look of
concentration on our faces.

A packed dancefloor.
Yummy chocolate mousse dessert complete with mint
ice cream and a shamrock shaped chocolate decoration.

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