Thursday, June 05, 2014

Hungary and celebrating birthdays...

Last year, when we were scheduling when our next staff gathering would be for YWAM Central Europe (it is every other year), and it was decided that it would be from the 28 May to 2nd June, I already realised that this would create a problem in celebrating my 40th on June 3rd. I didn't want to have to travel on my birthday, so my leader, Carmelita, who lives in Budapest, suggested that I could just stay on an celebrate it in her apartment...and so I started planning on doing just that!

I had a great time at the Staff Gathering: once again I was on the organising team (and did a lot of work, but there were 3 of us doing what I did last time, so it wasn't as hard!). Almost 200 of us from over 25 nations, including most of the 16 represented in YWAM Central Europe (from Poland to Greece and Slovenia to Moldova). We remembered to take a photo this year, so here you can see all of us:
After the conference we headed to Budapest and started to plan the party...A few of my international friends, Rebecca and Belinda, who had come for the conference, stayed on specifically to celebrate. I had managed to convince Ljilja (and then Sina) to come as well, and then I invited my friends who live in Budapest as well as some other people who stayed on after the conference. The ironic thing is that my leader in the end actually wasn't there - she had to go to her niece's wedding in the UK, but she graciously let us use her apartment anyway!!

Rebecca who lives in Thailand was called on to make Thai food... and as we were in Budapest we had to go to the thermal baths... and as my family used to celebrate birthdays with my Gran with KFC (and we don't have it in Bosnia), we would go there for lunch... and so the plan all came together... I had an absolutely fantastic day, being spoilt from beginning to end...

I also had a lot of "bee" stuff given to me over the years by my friend Liz, and so I decided to go all out and have a "bee" party for my fortieth - if you can't do it then, when can you?? Here is the "bee" table with 6 of the Thai dishes Rebecca prepared. She also made a dessert - mango sticky rice! She is amazing and everyone stuffed themselves silly...
And then it was time for the "cake" which was actually the dessert "Transkei Mud" from South Africa. I made it with ingredients I brought with me (it is caramel/peppermint crisp deliciousness and I have yet to find someone who doesn't love it!!). They made me wear the bee stuff (ok, maybe I wasn't too opposed it :)...
It was a wonderful fun, relaxed evening, and everyone(especially me!) had a wonderful time. We actually remembered to get a group shot so you can see all of us... between the 10 of us we actually represent 11 nations (if you count dual nationalities, and places we are working). 
I am glad that I was "forced" to celebrate my birthday in Budapest - it really was so much more special than I could ever imagine. Thanks to everyone who made it happen! (and now that I am back in Banja Luka, I will be celebrating later in the week with my Bosnian friends as well!)

2 comments:

Victor said...

Oh Happy Belated Birthday!!! Wow, I would have loved to be there. You do travel so much! I keep wondering how it is going to those different countries and how necessary it is to speak the local language or if you can get around with English. So cool that you did that.

Also are you part of the original group of people that first did YWAM? I imagine they are all in the late 30's early 40's, so I was wondering if you joined them when they started?

Belinda Chaplin said...

I think you telling me that I travel a lot is definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black :) But yes, this year I have done a lot of travelling. A little bit took much actually! But it is all good. Later on in the year, I am hoping that I won't be travelling as much.

YWAM was started in 1960, so I wasn't involved in that... Our founder is in his 80s... Loren Cunnningham. I wasn't even among the first to do it in South Africa, but I have been in our organisation a long time - coming up for 20 years soon. And as we are mostly a short-term organisation I am one of the oldies in terms of length in the organisation.

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