I want to thank all of you who have wished me a happy birthday over the past week. Sometimes you forget how many friends & loved ones you have until you've heard from many of them on special days. Some people have asked how we celebrated and I want to share a tradition we've instituted in our marriage. If you've known us for awhile, you may already know this about us.
...Terrill & I don't often spend money on holiday gifts....instead we spend money on the gift of experiences. Being transient missionaries makes it difficult to accumulate 'stuff'. If we buy it, I know we'll have to eventually pack it up and take it with us. Do I really want to be carrying around a lot of 'stuff'? We decided early in our marriage that we'd rather travel to new places, taste new foods & make memories instead of buying gifts. This year was no exception and Terrill made it quite special. The day of my birthday was fun and out of the ordinary for us. I had chocolate cake & cappuccino for breakfast, we went to see a movie in a theater and we had lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant. That was that. Celebration complete...or so I thought.
But both Terrill & I turned 30 this year and he wanted to do something a little extra special. On the trip to Nairobi, we stopped for a night in Jinja (close to Kampala). Jinja sits on Lake Victoria and is where the Nile enters Uganda. Terrill's surprise was to take me horseback riding on trails near the Nile. I haven't ridden in years but my family had horses when I was a child and they make me nostalgic of my growing up years. We had a wonderful ride, even with a light rain falling and villagers staring at us. There's nothing like the smell of tropical plants and wet horse hide. ;)
For the night, we were booked into a lodge called the Nile Porch. The river rushed below the escarpment our little guest house was perched upon. As we sat and had our tea while enjoying the surrounding greenery, I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of contentment. Later on that night, I learned why Terrill really wanted to stay at the Nile Porch. They were famed for having some of the best ribs around. So, after some meager & meatless meals, my husband had a proper dinner. I won't tell you how much he ate. The next morning we had our breakfast outside and watched two parrots fly between trees. These are the kind of birthdays I'll never forget. I can't lose these memories and they won't get worn out over the years.