On Sunday my friends (with the help of my fabulous mother) threw me a surprise birthday party at the Mille Collines! I arrived with my friend Meredith to see that Heather had spent the morning decorating a table with all the necessary birthday accessories! They had even invited other volunteers who I am close friends with and we spent a perfect day together. It was a rainy morning so we were pretty much the only ones there for a long time but we didn’t let the rain stop us from swimming. We spent the morning playing in the pool, taking silly photos and just sitting together talking. Around 12 the food starting coming out for the buffet and it would probably shock/disgust you if I described how much food we consumed as a group. At one point towards the end of the meal Sara told Meredith to put all of her empty butter packets on plate so they would get taken away. When Meredith asked why Sara replied, “Because it is embarrassing.”
We spent a few hours eating and I will say that most of us focused on the salad and meat tables because those are the things we can’t really get out in the village. I ate three delicious chicken brochettes- I love eating meat that I can actually identify and is cooked to the point where you no longer question if it might come back alive and jump off your plate. After we finished our meals I figured that was the end of the party but then the live band sang to me and they brought out a real birthday cake that Heather had ordered that morning. For the first time in 15 months we tasted real cake and it was amazing! It was incredibly sweet and after the first piece we all started to wonder if we would be able to make it back to our sites after all that food since it seemed possible that we might just all lapse into sugar comas and fall asleep at the table!
I am so grateful to have amazing friends here and even more grateful that I have a mother who can plan a birthday party for me even when I am living in Africa.It can be hard to spend special days so far away from home but I guess I never really needed to worry about that part since my superwoman mother can organize my life regardless of physical proximity. That woman never ceases to amaze me.
Here are some of the photos from the day:
Amazing fruit selection!
I think Sara was a lion, not really sure what animal Heather was…
Meredith, Sara, Suzi, Kim
Fabulous birthday cake!
Heather, Suzi, Sara, Meredith, Kim
You know it’s a good party when this is how everyone looks at the end!
A big thank you to my amazing friends and of course my wonderful mother- you are the best!!!