Friday, 4 September 2015

Birthdays in Zambia

Some of my Zambian friends celebrate their birthdays with friends and family like we would in England. However, this is not representative of most Zambian people. A lot of the children we teach don’t even know when their birthday is, and not because they are too young to remember. Sometimes their parents or guardians don’t know the child's date of birth! If the child was born at home rather than at the clinic or hospital, then they don't have a birth certificate. In fact, it’s interesting how many children at school were born on the 1st January, according to their application forms!

I suppose that because birthdays aren’t such ‘a thing’ here, the children don’t know any different so they’re not really missing out. However, I think birthdays are a great reason to celebrate a person, and a good excuse to have fun. Yesterday I turned 33 and had a really lovely day celebrating. In true Zambian style, my day started with a power cut and boiling water on the gas stove so I could wash in a bucket (I can assure you that this was not the lovely part!). In the morning, I Skyped my parents and then one of my friends from home. A friend here then took me out for brunch. In the afternoon I spent some time being pampered, as my auntie kindly treated me to a massage, manicure and pedicure for my birthday! I have discovered a very nice salon in the centre of Ndola,quite similar to ones at home – not the mud hut my sister Rach said she imagined when I was telling her about it. In the evening, I went out with some friends for a meal in town, and then I Skyped my sisters and my parents again when I got home.

A big thank you to everyone who sent me cards, presents and messages for my birthday. I very much appreciated hearing from lots of people at home and am thankful for all the birthday love!

A full English breakfast!

Birthday pampering

Michaelangelo's Restaurant, Ndola

Me, Rosie & Holly

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