So here’s what it’s like throwing a party for two hundred people in a small village. First we woke up to defrost the meat. Picture this: fetching water in ginormous bowls on your head, spilling meat juice everywhere, dogs following you around trying to get a taste. And then sitting on the ground in the sand, wind blowing, while you try to chop the meat. And then of course you have to rinse off the sand particles so as to have minimal crunch and teeth-breaking. Meanwhile several chickens are (seemingly) innocently plucking around, and then – lightening fast – stealing the defrosted chunks of their dead brothers as soon as your back is turned.
Then comes the fire making (that was seamless, thank goodness) and skewering. I think we made a total of 250 kebab skewers, complete with beef, chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers and apples. The piercing and chopping took several hours. Then we coupled that with some friend chicken legs, Caesar salad, and pasta – and we felt like we were back in America having a full on feast.
When the kids arrived, I decided to disperse balloons, which started a full-out riot. I think anytime you give away free stuff to kids, you have to know you’re entering a war zone. But the balloons made the party way more colorful and festive and periodically interrupted by of a loud burst or two. I also caught some of the kids bartering their balloons for maguni oranges, so Vitamin C?
Thankfully some teachers from my school arrived shortly thereafter to help cook, so I was free to run around with the kids and push tables together so we could have a dance party. That was by far the best part, because everyone danced together – even the kids from my Grade 9 class (who normally are too cool to interact with the small kids) joined in. AND I got to separate some budding couples, which made me feel really old. A perfect initiation into the 24th year of my life.
I was afraid that we wouldn’t have enough cake to feed 200+ mouths, but then Matt presented it me and it was HUGE. Still the pieces were about 2 square inches, but that worked out because then we had enough left over to throw into the screaming throng of children, to be caught and shoved into their mouths without any qualms.
Then of course the food was a total hit. And we spent the rest of the afternoon dancing! So I’d say it was probably the best birthday of my life. I’ve never been surrounded by THAT many people that I love, with so much joy and energy.