While there was enough American cuisine for approximately 60 people last week, this Tuesday was slightly different. A woman who normally attends the social as a fellow English learner and socializer gifted us with the amazing taste of an Arabic meal. This unusual delight consisted of two Biryani dishes with two different meats (thinly sliced meat, rice, and vegetables), Dolma (grape leaves filled with rice and vegetables), and fresh Tabbouleh (finely chopped parsley, tomato, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning). In Iraq, the Tabbouleh dish is considered native to the city of Mosul whose cuisine is closely tied to that of Syria. Oh, and there was some really really sweet dessert!
Maybe in part because of the amazing meal, an overwhelming number of guests showed up to this week's social. While I would love to say, "the more the merrier", a living room and activity room meant to hold around 50 people does not do so well with 75. Even as people began to filter in and out which made the room seem a bit less crowded from time to time, there was not nearly enough food. As people talked and ate in nearly every room in the house, people began to flood into the streets. At the end of the night, after food and conversation and a few rounds of dominoes, it was CRP's decision to hold off on next week's social until a new structure could be established. It is our latest plan to have the social split into two groups, A and B. This way, everyone will still have the opportunity to attend, but the number of people participating each week will be much more manageable and less expensive in terms of preparing the food. It is also a possibility that we will alternate between American and Arabic cuisine, or possibly split each week's meal between the two cultures.
While I have had previous experiencing planning, facilitating, and managing similar events, every week brings something new. It is truly exciting and exhilarating to know that no matter how hour many hours of thought and planning and work goes into hosting such an event, there will always be a need to make it different. How cool is that!