Part of the expat culture in most foreign countries includes these "groups" for expat wives to join. The purpose of such groups is to provide a networking opportunity for spouses (who are often time alone for long periods of time in foreign countries because their husbands work so much.....ahem....actually sounds familiar to me!) to meet other expats in the area, and also to provide some type of support group for American families/spouses in a certain area.
There is a fairly decent sized American/Canadian group in our area of England to which I belong and have participated in a number of activities. There is also a much smaller and more informal group of women from all over the world who have formed an expat group as well. I have gotten to know them and have truly enjoyed both groups for different reasons.
It has been nice to do things with these groups. I do feel a bit like a "lady who lunches". Scott & I are really on the younger end of the spectrum for this expat stint....at least in our area. If we were in London, we would probably be much more in the middle of the spectrum since it is a much younger city. However, since we are in the countryside, we are one of the few couples at our age and one of the few American families here without children.
Today is Australian Day, and since the smaller expat group has a few Australian members in it, and they decided to host an Australian Day gathering here in England to celebrate this day in which 1788 eleven convict ships from Great Britain arrived on the shores of Australia.
The Aussie Banner flying across the dining room mantel for Australian Day!
The traditional Australian Lamingtons for dessert. They are squares of cake (butter/pound type cake) covered in chocolate and dusted coconut.
The group gathered in Stephanie's dining room for the Australian lunch. We feasted on barbecued burgers (with beets, onions, cucumbers and more - a bit different than the American burgers!), shrimp, potato salad and then a number of delicious Australian desserts.
This beautiful Pavlova was served for dessert. Pavlova is a meringue crust topped with fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit. It is unknown as to who created the first pavlova but the recipes first started appearing after the Russian ballerina (Anna Pavlova) toured Australia and New Zealand and was said that "she does not dance but she soars as though on wings." From this phrase, it is sensed that the dessert is light and airy, etc. AND DELICIOUS! :)
With this group of expat ladies, I have also been to the "brine bath" in the little town of Droitwhich, England, and then on another occasion, we made lovely advent wreaths at an early Christmas luncheon.
"Brine Bathing" in the salt water...Cassie, Christina, Ingrid, & Cristine floating for an hour.
The fresh advent wreath I made at the Expat Christmas luncheon, proudly displayed on our table at our house. It was a nice addition to our dinner table during the advent season.
I feel a bit like I am going on "field trips" or having craft days for these events, but they have also been great learning experiences for me to learn about the area around me now in England and the other people from all over the world who are here exploring as well.