On September 9th (09/09/09!), I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Cameroon and it was fantastic. Holidays end up being so much more fun here in Cameroon due to the low expectation. I should continue to adopt this attitude upon leaving here. Expect nothing and enjoy whatever comes my way.
The day began with a trip into Bafoussam. Mom had sent me a package that arrived in time and was waiting for me at the post office. It has been a while since I went to the post office to bug the ladies there and they were thrilled to see me. We chatted while I waited. I don’t think I’ve ever or will ever have such lively conversations at the post office.
Afterward, it was lunch in Akwa, at our favorite bar – El Campero. Kate met me for lunch as well as buying groceries we needed for pizza night! I couldn’t wait to open the package, and it was an ENTIRE box of FOOD. My favorite Chinese & American snacks all in one. I was impressed!
Jerome was also in town, so he stopped in for lunch and brought a bottle of wine for the evening. He couldn’t join the girls for pizza, but paid a visit the following day. For lunch, we had the usual – brochettes & fried plantain. Ghilain, our favorite bar lady wasn’t working that day, but she came anyway with a packet of biscuits!
Kate and I return to Batié after buying the necessary groceries from the market. I am not big on huge fêtes, so I invited a few girls over for a fun evening of food and wine. While the girls were slaving away in the kitchen making food, I went into town to drink with villagers. In most cultures, when it’s your birthday, people buy you things. Here, when it’s your birthday, you buy. However, it’s my last birthday here so I was happy to share the occasion (& beers) with my people. They are so funny and I counted my blessings and noticed how much I had grown from the last birthday to this one. Last year, I didn’t know villagers to buy them beers.
When I got home, the girls had cooked up a table of food – pizza, salad, mojito, cake, brownies – the works. Kate got me a bar of really good soap from her vacation in France, and the best part about it? It was wrapped in a yummy picture of Brad Pitt. Nura gave me reading privilege of all her unopened Economists from the last two months! It’s the little things that really give you great joy here. I had a great birthday that marks the beginning of another hopefully fulfilling year!