I celebrated my second birthday in Togo this past April 25th. To celebrate, I decided I wanted to throw a party for me and my neighbors. I’ve never really invited any of my neighbors over to eat a meal with me, so I decided this would be the best time and way to do it.
I got my party planner and best girlfriend in Tchamba to help me out with all of it. Together we sat down and planned a meal for 40 people. The meal entailed a salad (cabbage and hot dogs), followed by couscous with wagash (cheese from fulanis, a nomadic tribe), two chickens, one of them being my pet chicken (his name was garbanzo), and sodas for everyone. I also baked about 4 loaves of banana bread to have as my cake.
Some of my neighbors. I promise, they were more excited than this pictures lets on.
Some of the kiddos in the neighborhood.
Lyle and Christa happened to be swinging through Tchamba on their way back from Benin so we all got to party together!
The closest people I have in village to a host mom and dad (since I don't live with a host family).
The chicken was in a seperate bowl from the couscous. I kept wondering when Angel was going to pass it out, but she never did. Finally we sang happy birthday and cut the cake. After everyone got their cakes, Angel passed out the chicken (the real dessert). Everyone eats meat last here, even when there is cake.
Angel and me wearing the necklace she gave me for my birthday!
People actually gave me presents! I was SUPER shocked since most people don't have money to just buy whatever, whenever. I got a ton of cookies, dates, a porcelain bowl (left of the photo), a wheel of wagash (cheese), the necklace from Angel, and a new pair of flip flops!
The party was a super success and I really loved having everyone over. Everyone sang happy birthday, in both English and French, ate a ton, and ended up having a little dance party at the end. I can't believe I'll be leaving this neighborhood soon! This is the first time in my life I have 1) lived alone and 2) actually been really good friends with all of my neighbors. It's relationships like these that are hard to find in America, and I'm really lucky to have found them here.