Yesterday was my birthday! I absolutely love birthdays. I don’t really know why – presents make me awkward, I don’t usually throw big bashes… but maybe it is something around the fact that you can’t help but reflect on how far you’ve come in a year and to celebrate it. After all, when one ‘turns’ 24, you’re actually concluding your 24th year of life, it only makes sense to celebrate it. But, it is also exciting to think about how much could change in the coming year and to imagine where I might be when I have my next birthday. Right now, all possibilities seem little more than a few flicks of the wrist to make a reality by February 6, 2013. I’m unbelievably excited for what my 25th year will bring.
I love birthdays, but honestly was a bit sad leading up to this one. I was really sad that many of the people that have been such an important part of my last year were not here to celebrate it with me. But… both snail and electronic mail can do wonders in reducing the size of the Atlantic and was so happy to receive gifts and well wishes from afar – thank you so much to all that sent me some long distance love! It was really, really appreciated.
This was not my first birthday far from family and friends, in fact, this was my second birthday on the African continent: in 2009, I spent my 21st birthday in Botswana. I don’t know if I might have imagined then that I could be spending another birthday in Africa, but now, after my second birthday here, I can’t imagine that I won’t be spending at least another one alongside giraffes and lions (there aren’t actually giraffes or lions in Ghana… but you get what I’m saying) sometime in my life. I just celebrated my six-month anniversary in Ghana, making my total time on this continent that I love almost up to a year. There are times when that feels like a lot of time, and others when I am extremely conscious that I haven’t seen or experienced even a quantifiable fraction of ‘AFRICA’ and when my time here feels immeasurably short.
My amazing friends here in Tamale somehow prepared my favourite meal in the world (steak, caesar salad, fried onions and potatoes) against all odds (plus a cake baked in a rice cooker!) and I had a really fun evening surrounded by the community I have made here and come to love in Ghana. I don’t know where I’ll be to celebrate my 25th, but you can be sure I’ll be living each day until then to make sure I have lots to celebrate!