That night we met for our Jamaican Jerk BBQ and Shaffay's 11th birthday. It was another cultural experience with time. The event was to start at 6:30, so all the Americans were ready and waiting at 6:27. The party really didn't start until after 8pm.
The party was a sight to behold. An elaborate table was decorated and then covered with a veil. A master of ceremonies, Mr. Johnson, was appointed. Many people gave spoken tributes to Shaffay, the birthday girl. She was praised as a quiet, thoughtful, and beautiful young lady. Even I was asked to say something on behalf of the volunteers!
Rachel had spent the day going to fetch her luggage. She finally came back and we busted out the container of granola bars she'd stashed in her suitcases. That night at the party, Larry offered them to our hosts and then turned to ask Rachel if she minded sharing. Obviously, she didn't mind, but it was awkward. It was fun to watch the kids try the granola bars for the first time though.
The table was unveiled and Shaffay took part in the cake-cutting ceremony. She and Kenar, another 11 year old local boy, stood on opposite sides of the cake and simultaneously cut a slice. Rachel and I were asked to help cut the cake into tiny pieces and roll them into napkins to disperse among the guests. I carried the pieces on a silver tray. I walked over to a group of men. One of them was earlier introduced as the "Justice of the Peace".
He said to me, "I want the waiter and the waitress. Come back when you're done."
I didn't get it. I said, "Excuse me?"
He said, "I want the waiter and the waitress."
Again, puzzled. I mean, I know what flirting is, and I gathered this was some form of flirting, but was I supposed to find a guy for him, too?? I felt so clueless.
Then he said, "The waiter, you know, that silver thing in your hand with the cake on it. That's the waiter and you're the waitress."
"Ohhhhh. Yeah, I'll be right back."
I basically ran.
Rachel and I spent the night, literally, avoiding the clouds of weed smoke and the advances of many Jamaican men. We bought Jamaican-colored belts from a woman selling them out of her van. We tried to hang in for the dance contest, but were a little disturbed when the young kids started doing graphic dance moves. We ended up calling it a night around 11pm, even though Mrs. Graham, our eighty-something neighbor, was stilling going strong.