My birthday has always been one of my favorite times of the year simply because I always get an overwhelming outpouring of love and thoughtfulness each and every year for as long as I can remember. What´s interesting is not the same people remember every year, nor do they all remember at the same time, but nevertheless, I there are well-wishers, here there and all over. It never fails that each year, I receive a couple of random greetings from people out of the woodworks, so it has been fun finding out every year who they are going to be.
This year is no different in its level of awesomeness. Just when I thought being in Honduras would pose as a challenge, somehow I knew deep down that my day would find its way to prove to be special. My first birthday song (en español!) came in at 12 a.m., December 9th, from a friend in town, followed by a long distance call from the Philippines at 12:02 a.m. that came with a song number as well. Did I ever get to say that I LOVE IT when people sing Happy Birthday to me over the phone? I think it´s the most hilarious and fun thing.
My plans for the day were to attend a Christmas party at a nearby mini-resort for the network of women´s group that I am working with- only they turned the party into one birthday fiesta for me as well! When I arrived, birthday music in Spanish was blasting from the speakers and everyone surprised me by jumping from behind the bushes. My “party” was made up of almost 25 awesome women all in all!! Most of these are people I´ve only seen about a few times since I started working in Honduras, and yet they drowned me with kind words and some presents and as the picture shows- in icing. Yes, I got my cake and ate it too! Not to mention a piñata and merengue time with the ladies!
In the evening, I got to attend my first ever Honduran wedding to accompany my host mom, so that was cool. I felt like I had another big party with a ton of people, at no cost to me! Haha. Capped the evening by going dancing with some friends and then the following day, I went to celebrate again out of town with another volunteer who had the same birthday as I do- so we had some adventures in La Ceiba. Everything was chill and good.
Messages and phonecalls continued to pour in throughout the weekend and through the mail- both snail and electronic. Some people form here called me too and I never even told them when my birthday was! As always, I can´t really complain about anything, if at all, I feel so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life who continue to prove that distance doesn´t matter- and neither does being “recently acquainted” because in my three months here in Olanchito, a lot of people have come to embrace me as their own.
I´m 29 years old and it´s amazing how I don´t feel a year older. If anything, I know I´ve definitely matured more in my thinking but my heart is definitely getting younger and younger. Unlike the majority of people who freak out every time they turn a year older, I am the exact opposite, feeling more brave to embrace life as the years pass. I don´t think I ever have to worry about getting old- especially here in Honduras – I´ve had countless arguments with people who tell me I´m lying when I give them my real age, but when I tell them I´m 22, the argument comes to a halt. Case closed, indeed.
So this is a special shout out to each and everyone in my life who ever remembered when I had a birthday and made an effort to make me feel special. Every message, every phone call, every gesture- they all have stayed in my mind and heart and continue to make me feel mmm…good…deep inside.