Friday, February 15, 2013

My 60th Birthday!

You may have noticed that I added a bit of levity to my blog yesterday by posting a guy running away from an ostrich. This was just to give me time to finish celebrating my 60th birthday! I can honestly say that I had the most wonderful birthday in living memory. 

It started on Wednesday morning at 9.30 when we ladies got together at the company guest house for tea and eats. The kitchen staff at that guest house as well as our staff here, had made delicious savory and sweet snacks. Amanda baked me a Lemon Meringue Tart (my absolute favorite!) and Tilla baked me a Grenadilla /Passion Fruit Cake. 

 The ladies of Mwadui

Once everyone had arrived, I thanked them for coming with a special thanks to Tilla, Amanda and the staff of both guest houses, for the eats. Then Tilla lit the one candle (it would have been a safety hazard to have 60 candles, lol!) and as I blew it out the ladies sang to me. First everyone sang the traditional Happy Birthday song. Then the Tanzanian ladies ululated a song while they clapped their hands. Too beautiful. 
 Enjoying the ladies' singing to me!

Tilla looks over my right shoulder as I cut the delicious cake. Linda, a teacher from the USA, watches from the left!

Calorific and delicious fare for my birthday!

At the beginning of the week, Amanda drove me around town to invite people and buy last minute refreshments. On my birthday, she help with the arrangements at the guest house. 

What a lovely group of ladies with whom to share my special day

Back home I reveled in the lovely feeling my special morning with friends had evoked. I set my gifts on my desk and of course, photographed them for my blog! 

Amanda, multi-talented, had framed one of her own poems. She also had a wooden box made at the local carpenter shop. She then varnished it and lined the insides with felt. On the top, she added a hand-painted pottery tile with my name and  birthday. (This is a jewelry box for my bling!) When I opened the gift, she pointed out that my birthday date was quite unique: one-three-o-two-two-o-one-three. 13-02-2013 She also told me that while she and I worked together in the pottery class last Saturday, she painted and fired the tile for the box. I hadn't noticed a thing!  Her birthday card was also hand-made

Linda gave me a glass jar filled with toffees and mints. The Tanzanian ladies each gave me birthday cards bought from the shop of one of my guests, Gertrude. Tilla says she'll bring me a gift from South Africa although I think the cake was a generous gift in itself. 

Birthday cards from the Tanzanian ladies; a framed poem and handmade and decorated jewelry box from Amanda with a jar of candy from Linda

That evening Grant and I took another tray of savory snacks and dips to the club for the men to join in my birthday celebrations. Tilla had baked a second identical cake which I cut and served at the club too. 

Tilla, who was not present, asked that I light the candle again and that Amanda photograph me with the cake! Which we did

 Me with my second birthday cake for the day! 

 Me and my second birthday cake with the lit candle

As you can imagine, I 've had a sugar overload to last me for the next 60 years! I've also had the best ever birthday.


  1. How wonderful, Jo! I'm so happy you had such a marvelous, BESTEST ever birthday! You look so good, too. Definitely NOT 60! You're such a sweet lady, you certainly deserve all the friendship and love! Happy B'day again!

  2. P.S. I forgot to say that your face and your smile is just the same as it was in your teenage photo! You haven't aged a bit! :)

  3. Happy birthday!! I bet you to 60 by six months!!

  4. A very Happy Birthday and it does look and sound as though you had a wonderful day!! I'm so very happy for you, Jo!! Well deserved!! Have a great weekend!

  5. What a wonderful way to celebrate your 60th birthday dear Jo. It looks absolutely lovely, the presents divine, the cake delicious and the group of ladies so nice and loving. I hope you have many more special birthdays. Happy birthday from me to you across the miles. Hugs. xx

  6. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed your 60th!!! What wonderful friends you have Jo!!!
    Again, Happy Birthday!

  7. Now that I call a birthday party !! How wonderful ! I bet you had a lot of fun all together ! You look great at 60 !!

  8. Belated Happy Birthday. Glad you had such a lovely day. I am 10 years ahead of you and still wondering how to celebrate in August! Diane

  9. Happy Birthday. The big 60. You don't look it. How wonderful for you to have such a great day even though you are away from your home and family. Friends are precious diamonds.

  10. Belated greetings from a small welsh village x

  11. What wonderful friends you have and what fabulous birthday celebrations your friends put on for you. You look gorgeous--so young looking and slim & trim. The hand painted tile on the wooden jewelry box is beautiful. Amanda is so talented!


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