|Pastor Deli, his wife Justa with Maria and Rachel|
Quick background: Justa and Deli are the ones who prayed and waited for a child for 7 years. Finally they decided to adopt Justa's niece, Maria (who was 1 1/2 at the time and in an orphanage.) Six months later Justa got pregnant and they were blessed with baby Rachel.
Maria just turned 3 and we celebrated Tanzanian-style! (TZ-city, not TZ-village... BIG difference!) Maria was SOOO excited.
|Birthday girl gets to cut the cake|
The week before Justa had asked me how we celebrate birthdays in America. Maria's party was half American, half Tanzanian. :-)
Deli made it kind of formal by having each guest introduce himself. (He's a serious kind-of-guy, all the other pastors tease him by calling him "askofu," Swahili for "bishop.")
|Birthday girl gets to feed a piece of cake to each of her guests!|
I made a simple cake with chocolate frosting (that was running off the cake because of the heat!) We sang "Happy Birthday" in English (I was surprised that all the Tanzanians knew it!) Then Maria blew out the candles. That was a first for her, took a bit to figure out how to focus her air enough to blow out the flame (so cute!)
As is the custom here at all weddings, the guest of honor (bride or groom or birthday girl) feeds each of her special guests a bite of cake. :-)
Then we each gave Maria some "words of wisdom" like: be a good girl, work hard in school, be a good wife, obey your parents. And those who brought gifts gave them to her after giving her some wisdom.
|Maria and "Aunti Lisa"|