Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Inventory of Birthday Presents

Because everything in my life must be a competition, I’ve decided to create some awards for my birthday presents:

1. Most relevant to blog readers who will now be able to look at pictures instead of read words: Digital Camera

2. Most confusing: A skimpy but cute and comfy leopard print dress. In classic Mitchell family fashion, I “wore what I got” and put it on this morning, after much worry about if it would be appropriate to wear to the office. I decided it was fine, so long as I didn’t leave the office. When my mom called me around lunch time to cry and check in with me, I told her that I was wearing the dress. “That’s a bathrobe” she told me. Hmm. At least I now know that a bathrobe is appropriate to wear to work.

3. Most confusing to others: A framed picture of my family’s faces’ (including the dog) superimposed on another family’s picture.

4. Most useful for anybody in Rwanda who appreciates country music: iPod blaster

5. Cutest: Definitely a toss-up between the birthday cards from my little twin cousins and the hugs I got from Dr. Nathalie’s little cousins who got all dressed up and SKIPPED SCHOOL today because “their muzungus” were coming over to play and they didn’t want to miss it.

6. Most made me feel right at home: Email chain with Lesley, Jargote, Skoo, KTL, and Frannie. Miss you guys!

7. Most useful: Frontline flea medicine.

8. Most made me want to cry: Letters from my grandparents about how each of them spent their 22nd birthdays.

9. Most African: Witnessing two goats being slaughtered, hung up, and then skinned in preparation for the goat brochette that we’ll be having at my party this weekend. Only slightly more violent than killing mice when I worked in a research lab.

10. Least surprising: The pants and skirt that I tried on with my mother and then gave to her to send over because they wouldn’t fit in my suitcases.

11. Second least surprising: Surprise party thrown for me by the CCHIPs staff. It might have been a surprise, if it had not followed the same exact pattern of the surprise party the day before, when I had been the person in charge of keeping the guest of honor out of the house for the setup. We went to La Palme to use the internet and then had an “emergency meeting” back at the house. This also might have worked, had the internet at the house not been working, and the internet at La Palme working.

12. Guiltiest: FB posts from Lizzi Blayney and Abbie Randall – THEY ARE SO GOOD AT REMEMBERING BIRTHDAYS – I don’t care if facebook reminds them about it – THEY ARE SO GOOD.

13. Most classic Bray-Bray present: Lace tank-tops that are supposed to be cute sleepwear, but are mostly just impractical.

14. Hottest: 17 Again, featuring Zack Efron.

15. Best sounding: James, Nannie, Gramps, Uncle Dougie, and Grandma Susie all left voice mails on my US phone that I could listen to. I’m still holding out for the other siblings...but Justin Usle would definitely win if he called and sang Sweet Caroline a-la 21st birthday party at Murphy’s.

16. Most heartwrenching: We were supposed to visit Dr. Nathalie's family to play with the children for a little bit after work. FIRST, I was given permission to drive the care. AND THEN, Dr. Nathalie's family actually cooked us dinner and everything and got all dressed up for our visit. It was actually adorable. Our cook had made a dinner by my request at the same time, so we thought that maybe we could do two dinners. This turned out to not be possible, as the family did not stop piling food onto our plates. I'm pretty good with rallying when it comes to overindulging in food, but this presented a challenge even for me. Oh yeah...and they invited over like the entire extended Musanze family so that they could all meet us. Absolutely adorable.

17. Yummiest: Fried eggplant. Definitely a reminder of being at home.

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