So, last Wednesday was my birthday, my first in Africa. I wasn’t really expecting much. I knew my Mom had sent me a package and I figured I’d have dinner with some friends, but what happened was amazing.
About a week before my birthday I received a text message from a friend – “Fyi: u r booked 2 go out 4 an evening meal next week friday. Kidnap info 2 b advised” Needless to say I was pretty surprised by this message, but excited to see what was going to happen. I love surprises.
Throughout the next week I found out that a few more of my friends were involved, but that’s all I knew. I also figured my birthday celebration would be Friday and didn’t expect anything else.
So, Tuesday rolled around and I had Bible Study. The friend planning the kidnapping brought a cake to Bible Study, completely surprising me. Banana cake with chocolate icing, yummy!
Wednesday was my birthday and the mood on campus was interesting. We all knew there was a funeral the next day for the two children we’d lost the week before. Anita and I were going to buy flowers for the funeral that afternoon, but she came down to the office late in the morning and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch before buying the flowers. We went to Lancer’s Inn, yummy! (yes there will be a lot of yummies in this post, sorry if you’re hungry)
We went and picked up the flowers and a few other things needed for the week. We headed home just in time for the whole Geurink family, Terp, and I to head out for dinner at Spur with Kim and the children she was watching. Before our food arrived, Margie dropped off a homemade red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, my favorite. And let me tell you, it was amazing! It was so good! She had never made a red velvet cake before, but knew it was my favorite and she nailed it. I definitely enjoyed having a piece a day for the next week. (don’t worry I shared with everyone there that night too)
Thursday was the funeral. I’m not going to lie, that was hard. Honestly it was hanging over our heads the night before too. But this is supposed to be a happy post, so I’m going to skip to later in the day. Donna had gone to Ladybrand that day and she brought home the mail. All of us got a package or mail of some sort and it brightened a not so happy day. I received my birthday package from my Mom, a huge package from a friend at church, and a birthday card signed by my whole church group. This brought a huge smile to my face. I love receiving mail, it’s just like in college. Unfortunately it’s a lot more expensive to mail me here than in college. Lots of yummies, movies, mac and cheese were involved in these packages. And best of all notes from friends and family.
So, Friday finally rolled around. I found out I had to dress up for where we were going. This made me curious as to the place. Around 6:15 we left. I was blindfolded, but I could tell where we were until a certain point of the drive when we made a turn I didn’t know. I drive a lot around here so it’s pretty easy to realize where you are even when you can’t see.
When we got to the place, Anita and Terp each grabbed an arm and led me into restaurant.
This involved a lot of laughter, stairs, a round about we circle twice (people were late, so they needed to stall me), walking through a casino blindfolded, and other fun.
Fortunately I didn’t fall, they led well. When I finally was unblindfolded, I saw two tables of friends. And we were at the Lesotho Sun which has a Chinese food restaurant. Shelley, the planner, knew I’d been craving Chinese food for months and hadn’t had any. It was quite yummy! I enjoyed hanging out and laughing.
All in all, I am truly blessed by so many people who made me feel so special on my birthday. I can’t explain fully how I felt. This was my first birthday away from all my family and friends from back home, but this birthday made me realize have an amazing Lesotho family. Thank you to all who were involved in making my birthday special. God truly blessed me with all of you!