October 27, 2018 chartreusian

Yee-Haw (?)

In keeping with the theme of themed birthdays here in Kibuye, when our youngest turned 7 (!) we were surrounded by cow-boys/girls.

Having spent half of my school-years in Alberta, and rural Alberta at that – is perhaps why the whole ‘cowboy’ motif is lost a bit on me.  I feel like there are real ranchers, farmers etc. They work hard jobs, spend a lot of time with animals – and wear boots and hats.  Then there is the strange urban-faux-cowboy. People who live in cities, yet still drive enormous trucks, have boots and hats – but they are clean facade versions.  Either way – do what you want – but neither one of those is me. Just not my jam.

However, for Alma, who has spent not much more time in Canada than she has evacuated to Rwanda, the image of a cowboy is a bit different. Also, when we were in Edmonton a year and a half ago, her grandparents got her into watching the show Heartland. To be honest, I’d never heard of it before, but apparently, it has more seasons than Alma has years of life, so the girls have been catching up.  It’s about a family on a ranch, set in the beautiful foothills of Alberta, where the prairies rise up towards the majestic Rocky Mountains. Really a beautiful part of the world. But I digress…

So what does one do for a 7-year-old cow-boy/cow-girl themed birthday in the middle of rural East Africa?  I guess the thing that people in the middle of rural East Africa are really good at…you improvise.

The kids found a lot of hats – that technically were probably more ‘Tilly Safari Hat’ than ‘Straw Cowboy Hat’ – but, it worked.

We set up a horse-obstacle course in the yard. Note: that horse-head-mask we got at a Goodwill store in Edmonton has been used shockingly more than one would think it would be in a country that has no horses. Or, maybe not – I guess I have no idea how much one would think it would be used in a country with no horsees.  again, I digress.

We have a whole shwack of safety flags that somehow made it over here, we have boards and bricks, and a few hula-hoops.  Boom -obstacle course. 

Cardboard from a recently unpacked stove, some buckets that came on the last container – et voila – horse jumping. {or whatever it’s actually called. Please don’t correct me}
This was our version of “lassoing” a horse. Hula-hoops thrown at Horse-head on a broom handle stuck in the yard by the chicken coup. Worked pretty good.
Of course for a ‘horse-themed’ party – the question of what will be the “pin the thing on the thing” is a bit more obvious.
However – after it was determined that kids could see through the horse’s mouth – we had to reverse it – which made it just that much creepier.
The cake was ‘straw-coloured’ with some Lego and a 7 candle that has made the rounds to two kids already – and got passed on again. Those things really are pretty good when you have kids in fairly close succession. In reality, they’re only lit for a few seconds each time. I have a feeling we’ll see it on someone’s 17-year-old cake soon. 

As you can see from her – and others – smiling face a good time was had by all. The kids here really do love their birthday parties. They are usually pretty creative, and just a lot of fun. Our sweet girl has now had her 7th, 6th, 5th  and 4th birthdays in Burundi.  Her third in Canada{which apparently was during a blogging hiatus}, and numbers Deux and Un in France. 

It’s great to see her thriving here – learning and growing and being part of so much. Wonder what the next year will bring???