"Keep calm and be crazy, laugh, love and live it up because this is the oldest you've been and the youngest you'll ever be again."
I turned 26 on Thursday. Actually, I turned 26 in Swaziland, Africa on Thursday. While plenty has happened since you last heard from us 12 days ago, I am choosing to only focus on turning 26, well because it is most certainly worth talking about. Sean planned the most amazing weekend with friends, starting with a full house cleaning, breakfast, and lunch in Manzini. This my friends was only the beginning! After lunch on Thursday we picked up two friends and hitched a ride back to our Dlamini homestead with our Sisi, picking up one more friend on the way. After cookies, storytelling and a Swazi dance lesson on the porch with our family Sean cooked an amazing dinner of salad, bruschetta and sangria. My family from our training site called around 7:30 singing Happy Birthday – it puts a smile on my face just thinking about it! After opening my sweet friends' homemade gifts we talked and laughed for hours until we realized it was late and we had to wake up at 5:30 to catch the bus for another full day of birthday celebration. I know what you are thinking – can it get any better? I am here to say that yes it can!
Friday morning Sean cooked banana pancakes and we caught the bus to Mlilwane Park to hike Execution Rock. We arrived around 10:30, set up camp and began our journey through African wildlife up the mountain! It was mighty mighty hot, but we had a blast learning about each other's strengths, weaknesses, and fears in the wild. One of our friends posted some fun videos on our Facebook page – check them out if you want a live feed of our adventure! The top view was beautiful and we could see for miles and miles, able to pick out different cities and landmarks. Swaziland is so small it seemed as if we could see the entire country! You would think a day hike with friends would top off a birthday celebration- you are wrong my friends, it still continues.
After showers (real ones) we took off to an area called Malendlas. It is worth a Google, it is definitely a neat place. We ate the most amazing dinner, had some cold beers (well deserved after a 5 hour hike) and laughed way too loud and long. Back at camp we settle down to a starry starry night and decided that birthdays in Africa are the best.
Thank you all for the cards, presents, well wishes, and prayers on my birthday. I know I am so loved and I can't imagine being more blessed than I am in my life. I turned 26 on Thursday and I am excited and honored to spend the rest of 26 in Swaziland with your support, amazing friends, and a loving husband.