We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Monday, June 04, 2007

McVideo Producer

Last night, I went to visit a friend who works at McDonald’s. We had planned to meet after she got off her shift around 9:00, but she called at 7:30 saying she had gotten off early and was ready to meet. So, I left Jason and my brother Andy (who’s visiting for the summer-yea!) bathing the kids, and set off for McDonald’s.

Riding in the taxi to McDonald’s, I reached in my purse to grab my cell phone and make a quick phone call before I got there. That’s when I realized I had left my phone at home. Little did I know that at that moment my friend was calling that phone to tell me that she wasn’t really off of work after all. She had changed clothes and left McDonald’s already when they called her back because some people had showed up for a birthday party that no one at McDonald’s knew anything about! Apparently, someone at McDonald’s forgot to write it down in their books, so a whole group of kids showed up in their fancy dresses and caught the staff by surprise. Since my friend is the hostess, it’s her job to give the birthday parties, so they called her back and told her she would have to work late after all! She tried to call and tell me, but she only got to tell Jason, since my phone was at home.

When I arrived, I found my friend plus several other staff members frantically blowing up balloons and setting out party decorations. Things were going well until the mother of the birthday girl asked my friend where the videographer was. I watched her very calmly assure her that he was on his way, then turn around and panic. She came over and told her co-hostess that the mom wanted video! I overheard them and asked what was going on. She explained that the mom wanted video and they didn’t have a videographer lined up. When I mentioned that we had a video camera and Jason could probably bring it up to McDonald’s, she looked so excited. I called him and told him we needed the camera ASAP!

We all just kind of hung around for the next 15 or 20 minutes until Jason arrived. Then I began my new job as official birthday party videographer. There was no one else that wasn’t busy working and knew how to work the camera, so I spent the next 2 hours videoing kids playing musical chairs and bursting a piñata and dancing with the Hamburglar—and, of course, singing Happy Birthday and eating cake and eating Happy Meals (or, as they say it here, Habby Meals—there’s no “p” in Arabic).

A lot of the party was very similar to a McDonald’s birthday party in the states. Here are some of the differences that stood out to me:

1. The Volume—Everything was about 20 decibels higher than any party most American kids have been to. These people like their music loud!!!

2. The Presents—It’s traditional here not to open a present in the presence of the person who gave it to you. All the kids brought presents for the birthday girl and set them on a table next to the cake, but they just sat there all night, and when the family got ready to go home, they gathered up all the gift bags and fancily wrapped gifts and took them home just like that. (I guess one advantage of this is that you don’t have all the wrapping paper to clean up!)

3. The Time--When your kid turned 7, did you cut the birthday cake at 10:30 p.m. at McDonald's? I didn't think so. They have a party there several times a week that goes well past the 10:00 (P.M.!!) hour.

4. The Dancing--These kids were dancing like they knew what they were doing!

I got home about midnight, and by 2:00 a.m. we had it all copied to a DVD for the family to enjoy for years to come!

1 comment:

  1. I become all things to all men in order to win some...great job, Beth! Sorry to hear you're not feeling well! I'll be lifting y'all up! I always enjoy seeing how LA is growing!
    Ms. Marlene