We have been looking forward to this night, following the invitation sent by our former boss weeks ago. In 10 days time, she and her family will be flying off to Colombo to hopefully spend a couple of years there for the organization.
Since she had left her post way back in February, she has been busy on several things but I was glad to hear that she enjoyed her remaining months in the Philippines to finally explore the country. Time flies so fast. It seemed only yesterday when I had to feign sickness when I was still in my previous work because I had an exam and interview. That was the first time I have met her and I half-expected that she’d be throwing a French interview question for good measure. =p
For this dinner, she graciously prepared several things for us that are, so to speak, very Swiss. Even the raclette that we had was flown all the way from her hometown in the Swiss Alps. We had fun listening to her stories, especially how she ended up with the organization years ago. From her university years and eventual employment, to how she met her husband in Rwanda, as well as how it was working in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. It was definitely very inspiring to hear.
We had been teasing her so hard on why she did not tell us the garage sale that she prepared because our staff could literally wipe of their shelves. While I had met their energetic daughter several times before (on a parlé en français plusieurs fois), it was my first time to meet their son. He was very polite and seemed very sweet with his parents. These kids have stayed here in the Philippines for more than three years, and the youngest one even knows how to sing our national anthem.
Back in February, I made a farewell video at the last minute. We got to see it at the party itself, but it was marred by technical glitches. >_< This was the only time that she saw the unadulterated final product and I can tell that she was close to tears again. =D
As for the raclette, Patrick had been gracious to man the grill and prepare the plates for all of us — potatoes and melted cheese, with these little onions that I do not know and tiny pickles.
I am forever aware that I do not have a refined palate. As long as something does not make me gag, I am going to eat it. But the raclette itself was heavenly. We initially had the stronger variety, the one that had a little kick even with the potatoes and ground pepper. I think I had three servings before I was full. There was a milder, second one that I chose to skip because I was already close to bursting. I had eaten lots of amuse-bouche earlier (especially the one with the prosciutto LOL).
It was a lovely evening. I especially adored how their walls was covered with artwork done by their son (and they were surprisingly amazing and intricate at his age). While they still have 10 more days here, there will a last and bigger party on Friday next week. That will be the final hurrah for their family here in the Philippines.