Having a January Birthday in the Northern Hemisphere has always been a cold affair. One of the challenges being to find something to do which was exciting and interesting when life outside was cold and wet. Over the years we have enjoyed visits to the National Space Centre in Leicester, Rainham Marshes, Greenwich and Prague as well as visits to family.
2010 Birthday in the Snow
2006 Prague – Astronomical Clock
2005 National Space Centre – Leicester
2008 Lord of The Rings on Stage
2009 Rainham Marshes
This year is different. My first ever birthday in the warm. Here in the Southern Hemisphere close to the equator it is warm and offers a different opportunity. Today is a Bank Holiday in Tanzania in honour of Zanzibar’s independence. This will always be the case whilst we are living here – so my birthday will always be a holiday. 😉
However, today unfortunately for me was a scheduled Mock Exams in ICT which meant that I had to invigilate for 5 hours. This as not the best start to the day but I was out by 2pm. This is a one off – not to be repeated.
After I escaped school, I travelled out of town to Tunza Lodge a beach resort on the lake. The weather this morning had been wet and stormy but the afternoon was warm and bright with a little sunshine.
Arriving home I opened presents from family including coffee beans from Bex, a lightweight dressing gown from Matt and some tea lights from my Sister-in-Law. Anita’s present is still to come!
New Dressing Gown
We had a meal and invited a bunch of colleagues and ex-pats and had a great time at the Lakeside. Tunza is a really nice spot by the lake to spend a few hours and it was a great time to socialise.
To end the day some Skyping with Mum and with my brother. A good chat and a good day!
Today is the second of the two birthdays for the Tanzalongs. The turn of Anita. Unfortunately this was juxtaposed with a Sixth Form parents evening. Luckily they don’t last that long here so we were all able to gather at our local bar The Joint for a drink and a meal by 6pm (there are only 25 in the whole of the the two years).
A number of colleagues from the compound and the flats were able to join us so it was a great evening of fun.
It’s gonna be a bit strange tomorrow with no birthday to celebrate but it’s been a great few days.
This time of year seems to be a popular month for birthdays among the expat community here at Isamilo. This being the case there have been a number of social events recently. Having hosted a birthday celebration for one of the other children last week and visited Tunza Lodge for another celebration at the weekend, this week it is our time with a brace of birthdays coming up in the week ahead. There are further birthdays to come in the weeks ahead for others at Isamilo.
Today it was the turn of my daughter. We had a number of colleagues and staff over after school for a cake cutting a present giving followed by a dinner for the family at Hotel Tilapia. This is one of the best places to eat in town and although it is a little more expensive than some places it was a great place to celebrate my daughter’s 14th. Whilst there we got some night shots including a great one of an oncoming storm.
T Minus 41
My daughter’a birthday will be in November after we have left England. Whilst we are certain she will make new friends in Mwanza we though it a good idea to have Bex’s early Birthday Bash (an unbirthday bash if you please!). So today we are hosting 11 of her friends for an afternoon of Zorbing on the lake, followed by a movie and a sleepover. What have we let ourselves in for! 12 teenage girls in one conservatory – it’s going to be fun!
T Minus 55 (just!)
A busy afternoon after a lazy morning.
Anita played in her last concert for Woburn Sands Brass Band. This is something she, along with the kids, have really enjoyed over the past few years. It’s strange to think that this will soon be a thing of the past for them all.
Then home for a Birthday BBQ With the whole family. Great to have M, Stephen, Fiona, Anita’s parents, Grandma and Sister’s family over. A good time playing Matt’s FIFA game as well as the real World Cup and a suitable birthday cake.
T Minus 161
Tonight we were at the Woughton Leisure Centre at Mike’s Big Birthday Bash. The Mike in question (Mike Cashman) had organised a charity fundraiser for Africa as a birthday celebration. There were 5 teams (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and White) each competing for a different charitable cause. No Tanzanian project so instead we were competing on the Red Team (Defeating Diarrhoea and reducing Child deaths in Angola). Each team competed in a variety of sporting and quiz activities over the afternoon and evening the team with the most points won and their charity got most funds although all get some.
I won both Badminton matches do doing my bit for Team Red!
Then there were some quizzes ( we won one of them!), food and other activities to end the evening. All in aid of good causes.
It was an eclectic bunch of people, some we knew well, but many we didn’t know – others I hadn’t seen in years – it was good to catch up. Anita, as she does, got talking to a woman who has just returned from Tanzania, having lived in Mwanza among other places, whilst working at the local orphanage. It was interesting to hear from someone who has been there so recently.