We had the best Saturday night! It really couldn’t have been more fun.
Through a unique program called ‘Meals in the Home’ we hosted 10 sailors for dinner. The program connects volunteers who host sailors and/or marines for dinner while U.S. Navy ships are in port in Hong Kong. Luckily it was a very clear night and I think they all enjoyed the view.
Jennifer Cox is the program director for “Meals in the Home” and she became involved because her Uncle had benefitted from a stop here in Hong Kong many years ago.
It made a great impression on her about the generosity of the people here and how one free meal could make such a difference in his week.
We hosted ten enlisted service members of various ranks and we really enjoyed getting to know all of them and hearing about life on ship. Although there was also a 6,000 person carrier docked in town this weekend, they were from a much smaller 300-man ship. It sounds like the seas get quite rough from time to time and I have to say I’m very glad I’m not out there in 25-feet swells! They have to strap themselves into bed at night.
They are all based in Japan and had lots of interesting cultural observations about life there.
There was one very sweet lady among the group and she very nicely shared with us what it’s like to be so outnumbered… she said that ladies do enjoy some ‘girl time’ in their bunk room.
We all reminisced together about what we miss about the States… things like BBQ and Mexican food were high on everyone’s list. Although they weren’t complaining, it didn’t sound like food on ship was very good at all… lots of rice and dried out chicken.
I made what I thought was a lovely roasted grape and mushroom salad… but sadly it went completely untouched, even when I tried to remind them that their mothers wouldn’t be happy with them ignoring their veggies.
My homemade cheesecake was much more successful so that made me feel a little better! Being nine months pregnant, I didn’t want to stress too much about the menu so we basically repeated this entire menu
… with the addition of some dim sum appetizers that our friends Wendy and Alex nicely brought over to start the evening out on a Chinese note. I really recommend all these recipes
very highly (even the salad) so definitely give ’em a try.
We were so honored to get to spend some time with these fine gentlemen and lady and were really moved by their sacrifice and commitment. They were all beyond polite!
We had decided to get involved in the program out of solidarity for our brother-in-law who is currently serving in Afghanistan and we do hope he is serving alongside as fine of people as these. Feeling more proud than ever to be an American! If you’re interested in hosting, simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org I know we can’t wait to do it again!