Yesterday was the 8th of May 2017, and was also my 22nd birthday 🎉 . This was my first birthday out of Dunedin and I was rather apprehensive about it! I know that as you get older birthdays become more of a non-event but celebrating with family has always been important to me. So yesterday was the first and I’m sure probably not the last birthday abroad and it was a pretty cool experience overall!
On Sunday night I went out with a few others to watch the sunset on my last day of being 21, whilst they were reminiscing what they were doing in their lives when they were 21/22. Yesterday started off normal by doing a cross fit session with my neighbour Lynn at dawn, then off to work starting at 8:30 am, just before I left for work I got a phone call from my program officer and her partner and they sung “happy birthday” to me through the phone which was pretty cool and so thoughtful of them. Aside from the few extra messages I received throughout the day it was a normal work day until just before 5 pm. Although the messages were so special they really made me miss home and I often caught myself thinking; what would I be doing if I were in Dunedin right now. But the truth is I would have probably been freezing my arse off, possibly having breakfast or lunch with friends and then dinner with the family.
At around 4:30 everyone from work was mysteriously gone from the office and I was just sitting there all alone. Then, about 10 minutes later they all emerged carrying the most beautiful cake and singing happy birthday. This was pretty special and helped to make my day memorable. Also pretty cool to get a cake that looks like the iPhone emoji 😂 🎂 🎂🎂 After sharing the cake I went home to get ready for dinner. In this process I smashed my perfume bottle which really wasn’t what I needed in an already emotional day!
For dinner I went out to an Cantonese restaurant with my VSA friends and we shared a lovely meal and then even more cake! It’s awesome in Dili as so many of the restaurants are on the water front which means you can watch the beautiful sunset as you eat. I definitely didn’t want to be at home alone cooking for myself on my birthday so this was the perfect way to spend it, a few wines, a few friends and some good food!
Overall having a birthday away from family was pretty hard, but everyone here in Timor, who is beginning to be more and more like a family made sure that it was a memorable day, thanks to everyone who helped celebrate with me, both in person and via cyberspace 😘