Today I turned 26! It was my first birthday in Africa, and one of the first holidays (do birthdays count as holidays?!) we've experienced since we've been away from home. (Ryan lost quite a few hours of his birthday this year, as we were flying from NYC to Johannesburg for most of it, so this is the first chance we've had to celebrate a birthday actually in country!)
Although I don't really think of myself as a huge let-me-wallow-in-the-joy-of-my-birthday person, it's amazing how times like this make you miss home and want to have some semblance of normal life! I had lots of warm wishes both in Uganda and from home, and I was surprised to find myself realizing just how much they all meant to me. Since when did I care so much about birthdays? Since I moved to Uganda, I guess! :-)
Our day started out sorta rocky, although in one sense I guess I got my first present of the day pretty early! A parasitic disease! I found out through a visit to our medical office that while rafting on the Nile I (and Ryan too!) contracted Bilharzia, the dreaded fresh water disease of Peace Corps Uganda. It's treatable and not a big concern to me, and actually kind of nice to know why I've been feeling so crummy lately! Happy birthday to me!
From there, the day took a big up turn! Since we were in Kampala for medical, we got to take full advantage of the city for a really special day! Ryan took me out to *real* mexican food (cheese enchiladas!! chips and salsa!), we ate soft serve ice cream (our first soft serve in over six months!!), and we even saw a movie at one of the two movie theaters Uganda has to offer. It was a really wonderful day and I found myself feeling thoroughly celebrated and happy! (And, we'll be sure to make the classic Muir Crazy Chocolate Cake when we get home to make it a *real* celebration!) Like I said, I wouldn't normally make such a big deal out of a birthday, but it just felt so wonderful to be doing things that felt *somewhat* like we were back home!
Thanks to everyone for the birthday calls, kind thoughts, and facebook messages. They mean a lot always, but especially when we are so far from so many people we love! Thanks for thinking of me today, and helping me celebrate my first birthday in Africa!