The last two weeks have definitely been a challenge for me but even more so for my friend Chenai. The reason why? Secret preparations for a certain Zimbabwean boy’s 32nd birthday.

Saturday was Lawrence’s birthday and for the past couple of weeks, Chenai, Richard and I have been scheming, plotting, running around and organizing a surprise birthday party. Keeping it all a secret from the guest of honor, who is notorious for being suspicious. Keeping his nose out of his car’s trunk when it was full of groceries and supplies for his surprise party was no easy task. Explaining why Chenai and I needed to spend time together with out him even more

Talk about difficult! At least I didn’t have to live with him like Chenai does. Unfortunately, Mr. Cranky Pants did give her a hard time during the past week which caused me to have to give him a serious lecture on his birthday once we had surprised him. But in the end it was all worth while to organize a very special birthday celebration for someone who deserved it and has never even had a birthday cake before, let alone a party.


Lawrence and Chenai cutting the birthday cake
Lawrence and Chenai cutting the birthday cake

The secret was almost out several times during the week leading up to the big event. But somehow he didn’t clue in until Saturday morning that something was afoot. And the fault for that lies with no one else but me!

It turns out that a white chick getting off of a bus in Mochudi and walking along the main road stands out just a little…who would have figured?


And it was just my luck that as I was walking along the road after exiting the bus from Gaborone that a certain someone drove right by me! Talk about small communities! I really need to learn how to disguise myself better. Even when I wear African clothing, I still am like the Sesame Street song “One of things just doesn’t belong here”. I should have realized that it would be more difficult to sneak into Mochudi than I thought.

Richard had been given the difficult task of whisking the birthday boy away from his house so that Chenai, Sheila and I could prepare the salads, decorate and prepare for the surprise party. I still don’t know the full story that he and Chenai spun about why I was seen walking down the Mochudi road. And Lawrence confessed later in the day that he knew then that we are doing something for his birthday, he just didn’t know that it was a whole big party with as many of his friends there that we could round up. 

So while Richard kept the birthday boy away from the house, we started with the preparations and decorating.

Women's work is never done!
Women’s work is never done!

I was in charge of the decorating so once the salads were prepared it was to time to blow up balloons and make sure the house looked festive.

Dressed and ready for the party!
Dressed and ready for the party!

Now all we needed were for the guests to arrive so Richard could finally bring the birthday boy home…….


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