Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Birthday #1 in February

Sunday was my friend, Amanda's birthday. Six of us (Andre and Amanda, Rob and Ntsia and Grant and I) went to Shinyanga for the day. This weekend - Saturday, 2nd February was also our first anniversary Mwadui, Tanzania. In all the months, the outing to Shinyanga marked Grant's first day off in the whole year. Christmas day doesn't count as the mine and plant had shut down and everyone was off!

We all met at Rob and Ntsia's home to arrange vehicle occupancy and where we gave Amanda her gifts. When you're stuck in Africa, you have to make do with giving whatever is available at the local shops. Ntsia  and I have similar tastes: we like "bling". She  gave Amanda a beautiful evening bag filled with her favorite toffees! The bag came from a Shinyanga supermarket, while the toffees were bought at a local duka here in Mwadui!

I knew that Amanda has no salad bowl so I bought her one from the same supermarket; inside I placed a really "bling" necklace and earring set.  As I love handsoap in a dispenser, I bought her a beautifully fragranced one and added a set of "chocolate" ornamental soaps
 The beautiful evening bag from Ntsia and Rob is visible at bottom of photo while Amanda opens the salad bowl which we gave her
 No matter how far from civilisation a girl LOVES femine goodies!  

Then the six of us piled into two cars and we were off! 
 The little cat, Joy, that I feed every week in Shinyanga
The first stop was at the "Duka kwa Paka"/ the cat shop. It's not a pet shop and doesn't have anything to do with cats. It's a household utensils- and appliance center where, a year ago, I discovered a young kitten was being kept indoors to catch rats. As it was far too small to find its own dinner so I took food every week when I go to Shinyanga. I also leave a full tin of food and cat cookies and the staff assure me they feed the cat during the week. Stopping off there and feeding it has now become a habit, albeit a pleasurable one. On Sunday, while I fed little Joy, Amanda and Andre bought a couple o kitchen utensils. Grant checked out prices of a flat - screen television and a small deepfreeze for future reference

Our next stop was at a hotel on the outskirts of town. We were the only guests and had to sit on the patio as the large boma hadn't been cleaned after Saturday night's disco dance. Amanda's mom in South Africa wanted to see the people her daughter  celebrating her birthday with, so we posed in front of a dry water feature while Amanda snapped us on her Smartphone.  We had a drink, shared two plates of delicious chips masala (French fries in a spicy sauce) and departed for town again. 
 Andre, Grant, Jo, Ntsia and Rob
In town we stopped off at the supermarket where everyone bought various items - cream crackers, cheese, toilet soap, toothpaste -  just for the fun of shopping!  (Well, I didn't as I do a large shop for the company Guest House every week which is enough for me!)

Finally we stopped at Rob's friend's hotel, The Butiama. It's a  hotel owned by a Tanzanian - born Indian couple. Minas and Ruby are very hospitable, love having expats over while they serve delicious, freshly - cooked spicy vegetarian snacks throughout the day. 
 Hotel Butiama, Shinyanga
 Paneer Samoosas served with a chilli tomato salsa

Rob was in Arusha last week and bought birthday hats for all of us! 

Andre, Minas and Grant with Rob peeking over Mina's arm

 Rob lights four candles on the teeny birthday cake which Mina's set out for Amanda

We finally left the hotel at 4.30pm. We'd arranged to meet at Andre and Amanda's home for coffee and scrumptious grenadilla (passion fruit) cake which Tilla had baked for Amanda. All the expats on the Client camp arrived on their veranda to join in the celebrations. A really fun and relaxing day was had by all! 
 Tilla's famous passion fruit cake

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  1. Wow--what a fabulous birthday trip/party... I'll bet Amanda had a fabulous time --because it appears as if EVERYONE had a fabulous time... That cake looks awesome.


  2. How nice that you all had a wonderful birthday day outing for Amanda's birthday. It looks like her gifts were just the right thing too. the birthday cake looks delicious and I'd like to send my birthday greetings and best wishes to Amanda.

  3. What an interesting and various social life ! I am sure you had a lot of fun ! At least it looks like ! I had to laugh when I saw Grant with the birthday hat ! What a nice picture !

  4. What a nice peek at your life as an expat. The passion fruit cake is mouth-watering!


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