Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me


So this week I had my 34th birthday and my first birthday in Zambia! This is Tricia by the way. Usually I would make a very big stink about my birthday and make everyone celebrate with me... and really I guess this year was no different. We decided to throw a BBQ out at Ciyanjano with the Zambian families that live and work there so that we could all start getting to know each other better.

It was amazing how different something like a BBQ can feel! People were in good spirits and really enjoyed the food. I think everyone felt very appreciated that we tried to throw a nice party. I really can't explain how lonely it feels though to have a bunch of women chatting away in Nyanja and laughing and having fun and me barely catching what is going on at any given moment. I am definitely going to have to work harder on my Nyanja if I am going to build relationships around here.

All day I was very nervous because Zambians traditionally dump a giant bucket of cold water on you on your birthday. And Jailos, one of the men who work at Ciyanjano, told me ahead of time that they were going to get me. But it was quite cold out in the morning and I asked Jailos, "ASakala, are you really going to dump water on me today?" And he said, "Oh yes, it's our birthday tradition." He looked quite pleased when he said it too. So I said,"Well, can I change afterwards because it is very cold out today?" And he said I could. I had butterflies in my stomach all day about it... peeking around corners, just waiting to get hit. It was completely nerve-wracking! By the end of the BBQ though, it still hadn't happened. Jailos finally told me that since it was so cold out today they decided not to do it. I couldn't help but feel like a wimp, and honestly I think I would have felt a bit more like I belonged with this crowd if they had just soaked me.

At least I had a big fat piece of chocolate and peanut butter cake which I made from scratch. This birthday cake I made for myself is by far the best cake I have had in the 10 months in Zambia, I humbly submit. I wish you could all have a taste. Happy Birthday to me!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

That. cake. looks. AWESOME! (say it like the little boy from the Incredibles)
-Kat

audrey said...

Wish I could have been there, I probably would have fought you for that cake...just sayin...

Rikki said...

aw, happy birthday tricia! here's to many more, maybe next year with even more friends and new traditions!

Danielle said...

Happy Birthday! You will get the language and culture soon...just hang in there! I finally am starting to feel like I'm getting all the jokes and fully participating after a year and a half. Keep plugging away...and stay dry!