Happy Birthday Michael!

Michael with his pizza!

Surprising Michael at school with his dad!

Yesterday(Saturday) we had a wonderful day. It started at 4 a.m. when I got up to speak to my family on Skype. It was Friday evening their time and it was family game night at my nephew’s so got to speak to several at once and saw them too! By 5:30 a.m. Major and I were on our way to Harare to surprise his son Michael on his 18th birthday. On the way to Harare we stopped at Magunje and hour from here where we were having an area woman’s church meeting. Patience, Major’s wife was there and it was also her birthday—so we stopped by to surprise her with cake at 6:30 in the morning! It was so encouraging to see over 300 women who had come for the meeting and they all came out to greet us!
We arrived in Harare about 10:30 a.m. and Michael is in boarding school and so we stopped to ask them if we could take him out for the day. We had told him in advance one of the doctors from Harare was stopping by with something so he should be ready! He saw us walk by his tea room and came running! We brought our Chidamoyo birthday hat—a tradition that everyone has to wear all day on their birthday and the birthday sunglasses!
We had to sign him out with the boarding master and when he noticed Michael in his birthday hat he asked if it was his birthday and he said yes and it was 18th. Then I said “that is why we have come to get him so that we can take him out to get drunk!” He looked like he believed me and started saying that usually on visiting day parents come to the school and they rarely let students out! We assured him it was a joke but I think he wasn’t too convinced, but he finally agreed. So we kidnapped him. He had to stay in his uniform all day because when they are at school it can not be taken off—even on weekends!
We then went by to get his sister Carolyn and cousin sisters Nancy and Christine. We spent the morning shopping at the flea market. We gave him some money to buy what he wanted for his present. Since we made him wear his hat all day many people came up to say Happy Birthday and shake his hand. He felt like he was quite a celebrity.
Then we went to a nice restaurant in Borrowdale where he ate a whole pizza by himself, had a milkshake, coke and we put candles on a bowl of ice cream and the waiters sang him Happy Birthday. We opened presents and he got what he wanted by was so shocked—a pair of Converse High –top tennis shoes! He put them on right at the table and wore him with his uniform the rest of the day until he had to go back to school!
We did some grocery shopping and he got to pick out some snacks for him to take home and we got him back at 5:33 p.m. on our way home. The boarding master reminded us we were 33 minutes late! I felt like I was in boarding!
Major and I drove home and stopped at Magunje to leave his wife a chicken and chips dinner with a rose and then got home about 10 p.m. When I arrived the 2 doctors and our Lab Tech were in my house watching the final European Cup game (soccer) because there was no electricity yet and so they used my generator! I had told them before I left they could do this as this game was so exciting for them. They were sure ZESA would be on for the game! Ha! The electricity came on 15 minutes later so we could switch over to it. Dr. Zimudzi was so happy that Barcelona won! Finally by 11 I was able to drop into bed and sleep undisturbed until 7 a.m. These one day trips to Harare are killers and the older I get the more it takes out of me!
Tonight we will have a proper birthday dinner for Patience as the women get home this morning from their meeting. The roast beef is in oven and the cupcakes are made. I have had to switch the beef 2 times as there was electricity when I started then it went out so switched it to my gas oven and then after an hour the electricity came back on so back to the electric oven! Always a challenge here!
Winter is here and it was 61 when I got up this morning. It gets up to 70’s and 80’s during the day and warm but as soon as the sun goes down, brrr… last week we had temps into mid-50’s in early morning! Bright sunny and crisp days—winter in Africa!


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