We were at the German embassy in plenty of time for the social hour before the fancy dinner was served.
Gordon was my escort; Phil and Robin were going as one couple, along with Hanna and Sylvester. I had a surprise for Vicky, Rachael and Bob.
Ambassador Schmitt had two sons – 15 rear old Aric and 23 year old Christoffer. I had arranged Aric to be Rachael’s companion and Christoffer to be Vicky’s.
I diplomatically explained to the girls that this was a social evening with dancing and mingling and that I had arranged partners to complete the gala experience for them.
Bob was trying not to laugh just as Ambassador Schmitt walked up with his sons. The introductions went smoother than I expected; I expected them to be awkward.
The boys were perfect gentlemen and knew the right words to put Rachael and Vicky at ease. It didn’t hurt that Aric ended his introduction to Rachael with, “You are beautiful.”
I had to admit she was, the dress the girls had picked out for her was perfect; not too much skin and short, but not too short for an official occasion.
It was the first time that I had seen Vicky decked to the nines in the new dress and shoes; she was beautiful as well.
When Vicky responded to Christoffer in German, he broke into a smile that said they were going to have a good time.
One more guest needed to arrive and when she walked across the floor, there was no doubt she was German. Tall and a natural blond, blue eyes and carried her self with pride that showed and was gorgeous. She was late 40s I guessed.
Ambassador Schmitt introduced Frederica Alder to Bob. “Bob, Frederica is your companion tonight; you two have a lot in common. Frederica is the head mistress at the Diplomatic University that almost all diplomats’ children in Uganda attend.”
I explained how the pre-dinner social hour was done. A small plate for finger food, walk around and socialize. The Schmitt boys had done this before and were showing the girls off and their knowledge of these official affairs.
Gordon and I made the rounds renewing old friendships from my previous stay. I introduced the members of my group as they came close.
The social hour ended when the first course of the food arrived. To my relief, no-one from my group had made any blunders that I knew of – so far – and everyone was smiling, so I was happy.
The embassy photographer was making the rounds snapping pictures, and later on would take a video of the dancing.
The main course was made of fantastic traditional German foods. I’d not had a traditional German meal since my time in the military hospital before being discharged. I ate modestly, not wanting to over do it because I wanted to dance to a few of the fast paced melodies. Desert was going to be held until a break in dancing.
There was a break after the main course then the band started warming up. That was the cue to move the grand hall for music and dancing.
The dancing started slow to give everyone time to warm up and get over the big meal. Then they went to the complicated and fast ones. I watched over my brood as I danced.
Aric and Christoffer gave Rachael and Vicky dancing lessons off to the side and out of the way of other dancers until they were comfortable with that particular dance.
Over the course of the evening the band would come back to the same style of songs so there were several opportunities to put the lessons to use.
To be honest, I enjoyed the ballroom dancing with Gordon, especially the fast paced dances that made me out of breath. When the band played the fast paced stuff there were only us younger folks on the floor, although several of the ambassadors and wives did try at least for one dance.
I wondered if there would be any interest in a club on the island. A dinner and dance club that catered to the ballroom crowd that met once a month type of thing?
Before I knew it three hours had passed by with dancing, breaks, and refreshments. It was time to say goodbye to my friends again. I had no idea when I would be back here again.
It was 2230 when the embassy vehicles dropped us off at the Hilltop Hilton. I asked everyone to stop in the restaurant. I wanted to get a general feel on how all the guests felt about the gala and their opinions.
I shouldn’t have worried; everyone had a good time! I wondered about Bob since he was married and I had fixed him up with a companion.
I learned that there was a conference that Ambassador Schmitt was to attend in Washington. His family was now going to make the journey with him, also bringing Frederica.
Frederica wanted to see KCC, John Hopkins University, Washington DC and to meet Bob’s wife. I hoped that I would not be around when they were having that conversation.
I was up at 0500 and packed, and then I went to the embassy to meet with the security night shift crew. I had only met with them once in the five days I had been here; when I was there during the day most of them were in their bunks asleep. This would be my last chance to see them as a group.
The first thing I was directed to at the embassy was running on the continuous ZNN news link from home. At Arizona State University, their Friday night’s basket ball game was hit by two suicide bombers.
I had a bad feeling that turned my stomach and it was not from the food. That something had been missed the similarities to Minneapolis were just too obvious. Was it a copy cat or was there somebody higher up in the terrorist chain directing operations and this was the new line of attacks?
I spent an hour with my men and ladies listening to concerns and minor problems that I would work out with my next meeting with Amy and Victor. If it was a problem here, then it was at all sites in Africa.
At 0630 my phone rang, “Hello girl friend; they tell me you are in distress and in need a knight in shining armor?” It was Max Liberty, one of my preferred pilots when I flew in the G5. When he was not flying 767’s for Delta, he flew for Lorrie.
Max was high on the seniority list with Delta. That meant that he had first pick of the flights each month. Delta also had a limit of flight hours a pilot could fly in a month.
Max picked long flights and connecting flights that added up the flight hours quick. He made his limit in the first two weeks of the month and sometimes in ten days.
“Did you come to rescue me, Cowboy?” I replied.
We called him Cowboy because he had one of the last small farms on Summers Road. He had stables and boarded horses along with several of his own. His nonworking attire was cowboy boots and hat.
When he was flying, his daughters and wife tended to the horses and worked them to keep them in shape. They also sold horse manure for gardens and flower beds.
“The six guns and the Winchester are loaded and the saddle bags full of provisions, the Calvary will be there in 90 minutes. My instructions were stop in front of hangar 17. Is that still the plan?”
“10-4, we have freight to load if you have room; order fuel if you need it.”
“Plenty of room in the wagon and the horses are strong,” he replied.
That was one thing I liked about Max; he could liven up any conversation and make it interesting.
“I will get the wagons loaded and will be headed that way in a bit,” I replied and then ended the call.
A call to Vicky at the motel to get everyone up, fed, packed and ready to go. Then I went to find Ambassador Bernardi; he wanted to see us off. All the cars, SUV and the limo were required to carry us to Entebbe.
When the SUV I was in stopped by the plane and I stepped out, I just stared and stared.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.