While I was in the US Foreign Service we had the honor of attending a number of Marine Balls to help celebrate their birthday. Our first Ball was in 1983 while I was stationed in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and we weren't sure what to expect. The Ball was held at the Hotel Ivoire in their main ballroom and the place was packed. It was very impressive to see all the military contingent at the Mission all dressed in their finest. We had a great time and looked forward to the next ball.
Abidjan had a deep water port and many US warships would stop there for refueling and shore leave for the Navy & Marines on board. We would always invite a couple of the service men (no women on board in those days) to the house for a home cooked dinner and some conversation. I often wondered if they would have preferred to be out on the town having a good time, rather than hanging out with us. Most of them did seem to appreciate the company and a good meal, so it was worth it for us.
We attended our last Marine Ball in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1991 at the Hotel Cariari. As usual we had a great time and since the Ticos know how to party, it was something special. Once again our son took our picture all dressed up for the ball as we were ready to leave. It seems like yesterday that we were heading out to the Hotel.
|Presenting the colors|
|San Jose, Marine Security Guards|
|Cutting the cake|
Thank you all.