So it turns out that one of the kids was playing with my camera before I went to bed and deleted all the pictures from my birthday… I know it was an accident and I didn’t want to be mad at her but I couldn’t help but cry because my birthday/anniversary with the kids was such an important day for me. So I spent most of yesterday morning crying and I thought it was going to be a pretty crappy day. All my boys here felt terrible for me and were so sad to see me crying. After an hour or so of sulking around, the boys pulled me into the classroom where we had my birthday party and told me that they would buy a cake and put it in my face and we could take pictures all over again. It was so sweet—they tried everything to make me smile. I laughed, kissed them on the heads, and went into my room. I remembered that I had brought chocolate and vanilla pudding powder stuff from America to make with the kids—today was the perfect day to make it! Jonas, lucky and I walked up to the Rau market which is about a 25 minute walk and we bought milk. We brought it back to the house, got a bowl, and made the chocolate pudding first. The kids had never tasted pudding before and they FLIPPED for it. I loved seeing them smile so much that I made them the vanilla one too. Normally, we share this kind of stuff with ALL the kids but today there were just 6 of us—which made it even more fun. While I was making the vanilla pudding, the boys went into my room, found the party hats and the leis, and all came running out of my room with balloons and the hats and necklaces on screaming “happy 21st birthday neema!” and they handed me my camera. Abdalla and Lucky stuck their hands in the pudding and put it on their face and said, “neema, take a picture! Lets recreate your birthday party!” My whole body filled with joy as I watched them try so hard to make up for the pictures I had lost from my actual birthday. I joined in the fun and made us some juice and we had a little mini party. We colored, ate pudding, listened to music and took pictures. It turned out to be a pretty awesome day. Before I went to bed, Abdalla, Amani, Baracka and I played a game of SORRY! on my bed. When I come to Tanzania, I spend most of my time at Mama’s house where we have bedrooms for some of the older orphans—we also have some of the younger kids stay here but most of the little ones sleep down the road at the actual orphanage. Part of the reason I'm so close with Hellen, Lucky, Neema, Jonas, George etc is because they live here at mama’s. Abdalla, Amani, and Baracka have been staying at mama’s house with me since the car accident—we want them here in their own beds until they heal because they normally sleep three to a bed and we don’t want anyone accidently hurting each others wounds. So as everyone always says, everything happens for a reason… and if it weren’t for the accident, these boys wouldn’t be living here with me and we would not have grown to be soooo extremely close. Prior to the accident, I didn’t see these boys very often and I definitely didn’t know them that well. But now, they are my little brothers and we are EXTREMELY close. Its been so great getting to spend so much time with them. Anyways, I was able to find some pictures from my birthday on other peoples cameras and such so I have posted those below. I also put up pictures from the weekend of us blowing bubbles, playing soccer, and just goofing around. Enjoy!
From the left: Ericki, Jackie, Amani
I LOVEE THESE SMILING FACES
From the left: Jasiri (George), Jonas, Josephine
My pretty little puppy, Pendo-- she's getting big!
From the left: Amani, Dorisi, Jasiri (George)
From the left: Abdalla, Amani, and Baracka
The kids faces as they watched the bubbles float away... I love these pictures
From the left: Lucky, Jasiri, Jonas
the boys playing soccer
the other day, we were at the soccer feilds and Lucky decided he was going to do me and Malaika's makeup... WITH DIRT! here is our photoshoot
Duy, Rachelle, Jordan and me goofing off at dinner Friday night
A few other birthday pictures
These are my favorite-- the kids made this beautiful birthday banner for me and colored it and everything. It is hanging up on my wall here in my room. On the top right, is my Tanzanian shaped cake and on the top left is me with my "21"
The kids and me eating pudding and recreating my birthday pictures
My AMAZINGGGG boys goofing around and making me smile yesterday :)