Yesterday Mercy Corps (our partner NGO) threw a beach party for the staff, and Build Change was invited. Tim and I walked over Mercy Corps' office under a scorching sun, where they had a fleet of SUV's waiting while all the staff piled in and then convoyed to the beach, one that wasn't affected by the tsunami due to it facing the Strait of Melacca. We left right after the Friday afternoon prayer and arrived around 3pm. This beach was originally closed by the government due to unmarried couples wondering off together doing naughty stuff, but I guess they reopened up with limited hours, 3pm to 6pm. It's feels wrong to go to a beach party wearing pants.
Food, volleyball, music and games of which reminded me of being at summer camp. I ended up talking to Elizabeth's staff more. Even though they were all in their twenties, our conversation was so, hmm how do I say it? Gossipy? They, mostly the girls, wanted to know more about my personal life, the girls I've dated and what I thought of the American girls. That one's easy, vocal, stubborn and sarcastic, but hey, these traits are good, really, I know I'm the same. The guys, just sat back and laughed at everything, but didn't really talk much.
Later that day, Tim, Elizabeth and I when to an Italian restaurant for dinner, and to our surprise, was so trendy. The hostess asked is we had reservations; we looked at each other with old expressions and replied "no". The rooftop restaurant was packed with westerners and even the women were wearing sleeveless shirts, which is prohibited in public in this province, even for westerners. The place seemed like it was plucked from San Francisco's North Beach District and plopped in the middle of Banda Aceh. And the best part, they served beer and wine.