My actual birthday was Friday, August 21st, but the celebration started a few days earlier. The Radcliffes had me over for dinner on Wednesday. I was welcomed with a lei of flowers, a preview of the Hawaiian theme to come. The gals dressed in their lap lap skirts and we dined on Hawaiian hay stacks. Dessert was a delicious strawberry small cake, which is not the same as "short cake" but equally as tasty. We played a game called "Password" using Hawaiian words and clues. The fam had sent some boxes c/o the Radcliffes so that I wouldn't peak at the customs form and see what was inside. (I generally try not to, but sometimes it is too hard to resist.) Very sneaky! Kathy was so excited to see me open presents that I had to open at least one box a bit early. The others were saved for Thursday and Friday.
So Friday was the day. It began with a Skype call from Mom, Dad, Ami, and Darren who were celebrating my birthday in Ohio. On to 7:45 doctor's conference where I received the honorary birthday hat (which belongs to the Dooleys and makes its rounds for b-days) and the Kudjip 5 birthday song serenade.
Ward rounds were next, or so I thought. I attempted to enter B-ward through the back door as I usually do but the door was locked and no one answered my incessant pounding. I made a detour and went around through the front door. As I walked into the ward, I was surprised to see all of the nurses and students and patients with balloons! The entire ward sang happy b-day to me. (It amazes me how well they know the song since many PNGians don't know their birthday or age.) It was so special, I just about cried!
Here are a couple of blog links about the morning...
Andy Bennett: http://day-in-paradise.blogspot.com/2009/08/when-someone-experiences-birthday-on.html
Later in the day I saw Baru and Christina and their baby in the outpatient department. Baru is the Health Secretary for the hospital and Christina is one of the nursing supervisors. They came by to tell me that they had named their new baby girl "Stephanie." This is #4!
I also received several packages from family and friends in the States. I now have a mountain of nuts, chocolate chips, and M&Ms! And Brutus was very excited to receive
a couple of presents as well :). Thanks to Jami and Naseem, Christy, Heather, Karla and Abby, Ron and Rachel, and the fam for all of the wonderful gifts.
So #34 was a pretty good one. I am filled up and overflowing with blessings! Thanks to everyone for loving me, and making my first birthday away from home such a special one.