March 27, 2009

Birthday Disasters and Angel cakes

(This is part of an ongoing series chronicling memories of my life growing up as a missionary kid in Vanuatu. For links to previous posts you can go here)

So apparently today is my birthday. I pretty much only realised yesterday. Must be getting old ;).

I thought, seeing as how I normally try to post a growing up Island post on Fridays I should write a post about one of my birthdays in Vanuatu.

The thing with my birthday in Vanuatu is this; I don't remember a birthday where something dramatic didn't happen. Something always went wrong on my birthday, if I believed in such things I would have thought my birthday was cursed. Rather I think the end of March is just a dramatic time of the year :).

One year there was a hurricane, the rain was being blown side ways and the wind howled. We sat in the dinning room playing board games by the light of a hurricane lamp.

One year we had no water. Some one had cut the pipes which provided Talua with water and so water was having to be brought around in big drums on the back of the Talua truck.

Then there was the year when Dad was so sick with malaria that just about everyone was sure he was about to die. The day was a steady stream of visitors to sit in Dads room and pray for him, until the Principal decided that dad had to go to hospital and was driven off to town.

I do remember one birthday party. I can't remember what year it was, but wasn't any of the above years because Dad was there and we had water and the sun shone.

I had invited all of the children and we played the three stick game. In this game everyone lines up and there are three sticks laid on the ground lengthways so that there is 2 spaces between the sticks. You have to step between each stick, but can only put one foot in each space. At the beginning it is easy, everyone puts one foot confidently in each space. But then the sticks get moved further and further apart and you have to run and jump between each stick. If you have to take two steps in a space or you step on a stick you are out.

Mum had made me a cake. It was a beautiful fairy cake. I had been drooling over this particular cake in the Birthday Cake Book for weeks and was very happy with the result.
All the girls said "Oh look, it's an angel!" when they saw it. "No," I told them "It's not an angel, it's a fairy." But fairy's are from western folk culture and there are no fairy stories in Vanuatu, so none of them had any idea what I was talking about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! I too am accustomed to think of my birthday in relation to weather disasters, probably because the middle of March is when we tend to get the last gasp of winter here in the northern US. So most of my birthday memories involve blizzards.

I'm glad you have one fond childhood memory from your birthday, at least!