Barbara’s Birthday

College chapel each weekday morning

Since her birthday comes in the NZ holiday season Barbara is used to having somewhat muted celebrations on the day, and then an “official birthday” with family and presents sometime later when we are all home again.

That was the pattern we expected this year, just the two of us in a refugee camp did not seem the setting for a conventional Kiwi Birthday celebration.

At lunch our Danish colleagues brought a very fancy cake

The first surprise was during college chapel, when Dr Simon announced her birthday and the whole company, 250 students plus staff sang “Happy Birthday” including a verse about “long life to you”, then the treat, lollies were distributed to all attenders!

At lunch another surprise our Danish colleagues had slipped away, and into Mae Sot, and bought a really flash birthday cake complete with impressive icing sugar roses.

The Cake: Just look at those roses!

The family and I will have to try hard in a week or two to match her birthday here! Even if one or seven too many people did ask how old she was 😉

She was also so moved by the gift of a beautiful pashmina from one of the teachers. That someone who has so little, living in rooms in friends’ houses and moving as their family needs require, should want to give such a lovely present, is very humbling.


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