What this is about:

Tales and Tidbits about Community Development, Peacebuilding, and Bringing food for the hungry on a continent in my spirit and a world away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No, We Will Not Run Around In Our Birthday Suits.

Together: "Haaaaappy birthday, happy-happy birthday. Haaaaaapy birthday, happy-happy birthday! Hey!"
Megh: "Do we have a birthday here?!"
Mob:"Yes, we have a birthday here!"
Megh: "Birthday where?"
Mob: "Birthday here!"
Together: "OOOOOOOH!"
"Haaaaappy birthday, happy-happy birthday. Haaaaaapy birthday, happy-happy birthday! Hey!"

I was being greepy. I was greepy because Becca and Hazel had come up brilliant idea of coming up with a birthday rap for Sarah at 10:00 o'clock the night before and had chosen to put my name in it because I wouldn't help them. And I quote: "Roe is being greepy like the dwarfs grumpy and sleepy". Grant it, I spoke the idea of rap into existence but I was not going to participate: if it went wrong, I didn't want to be affiliated with them. It had words like yo, slammin', sista, holla and the phrase main squeeze in it somwhere. The plan for the finale was a choreographed dance to Will Smith's "Jiggy Wit It." Yes, please. I almost peed my pants laughing, it was so bad. They were determined to perform it for her though. I kept my eyes down and tried to finish writing my Japanese birthday greeting.
Sarah was turning 22 and this hilarious GoEd group wanted to make it really fun for her since birthdays overseas can be hard for expats. Coming together in the dark hours of the night (while Hazel and Becca perfected their lyrics) we overhauled the Gitarama FH meeting room and made birthday paper cranes, birthday cards, birthday signs, a birthday crown, a birthday canopy, and a birthday walk to 22 leading to the seat of honor: a go-ed shirt draped throne. Elizabeth and Katie blew up birthday ziplock bags. Birthday balloons, you see. We used lots of masking tape and sewing thread. We are hilarious and resourceful.
"Sarah's going to be up soon! So we should all gather soonish." Kirsten announced, bounding, greeting the day. I shook Hazel's birthday leg and made my way to the birthday table to meet the others. The canopy and sign had stayed up. I mused about the times where one couldn't birthday sleep you were so excited for the friends you'd get to play with the next day and the cake you'd get to consume and the presents you'd eventually tire of that'd you'd get to open. Meghan taught the 10 of us the Red Robbin Birthday Song and we erupted in loud cheer and jubilation as Sarah strolled down the walk to 22, clapping on key. Mbish was a great camera man. She looked birthday regal in her birthday crown underneath her birthday canopy and we spent the morning having honorary breakfast with her! I was in charge of pressing the youtube play button for Jiggy Wit It and Hazel/Becca mowed the crowd with their birthday rap, and everyone was pulled up for a hip hop dance party at the end. Hallelujah--it was still as funny as last night.
A lot of us took birthday naps, while others went to buy pottery. In the late afternoon, we took Sarah out on a birthday hike in a Rwandan village behind Gitarma town, in the hills. It was SO pretty up there and it felt good to be out under the sun, even though people stared at the strange Wazungus following Mbish and I. On the way up the hill, passing tiled dwellings, we picked up a mob of excited children and a man with 6 fingers (on each hand!) who only understood the word Obama and happily wanted a picture with his cow. What else have we got to do today? So we followed this man to his house, emeshed in a mob of children, to take a picture of hm with his cow. He looked dignified. It was a nice cow...ahahaha. And we kept walking trying to think what in the world we'd do now. We all took hands of children, singing rwandan songs, and walked to a school. At the school we stopped to sit and rest and about 30 children surrounded the Wazungus while I took pictures. Kyle started a game of duck-duck-goose and they thought that white people running around was the most hilarious thing that ever happened. It was so fun watching them play; some village members enjoyed how unusual this all was. On the way home, a funny drunk man put himself close to Sarah's face, demanding her name. It had become a birthday day for everyone.
"SURPRISE!!!!!" Our distraction worked. She had no idea about the birthday picnic we had birthday planned all week. "You guys!" The home team cut up Hazels' green appples, brought out the nutella and cracked open the Crystal light-on-the-go packets. We listened to the Across the Universe soundtrack and had enough unhealthy snacks to wire a kindergarten class. Nice cookies are our friend. We cracked jokes, talked, and watched Meghan impromptu interpretative dance. Again--yes, please. The day was out of control. We easily came together and created such a celebration!! I can't get over how fond I am of these folks. In the evening was a mini-feast and we birthday watched a re-cap of the Office. Her mother would be proud of us.

Facebook Status seen the next day: Sarah hearts her most hilarious go.ed group ever.
Mission accomplished.


cat m. said...


jiggy with it.

abigail said...

once again...i'm so glad that you party non-stop in africa.

KellyDiane said...

you will remember this your entire life =)