With 20 villages finished, one-fifth of the journey completed, we marked the occasion with a very special day in our calendar. Lucas’ 2nd Birthday! Today we were tourists in Kenya. It genuinely felt like we were in a different place all together. We were picked up from our home and taken to the park gate, a ten minute drive from our flat. Although the journey to the park gate was a familiar one to us (we’ve spent several afternoons walking around the gates animal spotting), today we were actually going in, a completely different experience and all together for the first time since we’d moved here. We’d been asking Lucas what he’d like to do for his birthday for the last couple of weeks and the consistent response was “Ba-boons, park” so we packed a picnic (chocolate brioche and mango juice at Lucas’ request) and enjoyed an amazing day together.
Check out the video:
The following day we invited some of our close neighbour friends to the flat to celebrate with Lucas. They all seemed to have a load of fun in a pile of duplo, Lucas certainly did!
There is knocking at the door, the door swings open and loads more kids pour in to the house. We are suddenly overrun with children who have heard a party is going on. I am standing there I actually don’t know what to do, I don’t want to say we didn’t invite you, they are just kids wanting to have fun! I stand up in an attempt to stop the erupting choas, I don’t know what to say, thankfully the words come we all sing happy birthday to Lucas and I remember the backup cake (thank God for cake!) We slice up the cake and pass it round to our surprise visitors who with a bit of encouragement then head out to play again and the general level of chaos reduces back down to manageable levels.
The following day we celebrated again, this time with Kate and Jonny’s family. We had so much fun, swimming and running around. We were so touched by the effort the girls had put in to making Lucas cards and the lovely messages in them. This has been a beautiful birthday to remember!
Lucas celebrating with his neighbours
What chocolate cake?
Lucas discussing his day at the safari park
The sous-chef has a tractor apron! Thanks Auntie Azzie x
Lucas on the swing at the poolside with his “big sisters” – We all went for a birthday swim with Kate, Jonny and the 14 kids
Cake and singing Happy Birthday with all the kids
They all handmade Lucas a card with some really heart warming messages in them, such as “Lucas, you are our new baby brother, we love you”
He loved opening them all, “more cards!”
More blowing out of the candles – he’s a pro now
Lucas dishes out the thank you hugs
Recipe – Butternut Squash Chocolate Cake (Tractor and candles optional)
3 large free range eggs
160g castor sugar
200g grated butternut squash
80g ground almonds
120g flour (you can use rice flour if you want to make gluten free)
3 tbsp cocoa
1tsp bicarbonate soda
1tsp baking powder
50g softened butter
200g icing sugar
20g ground almonds
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line two 20cm half cake tins.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes until light fluffy and quadrupled in volume.
3. Whisk in the grated butternut squash, then the ground almonds followed by the remaining dry ingredients.
4. Gently beat in the yogurt at the end.
5. Spoon evenly into both tins
6. Bake in the oven on middle shelf for 30mins, you can test with a knife if clean it is cooked.
7. Whilst baking make the icing, beat the butter with half the icing sugar until a fluffy paste then beat in the remaining ingredients for 5 minutes, make sure you scrape down the sides so all ingredients incorporated into the beating.
8. Let the cakes cool in their tins, when cool remove the baking parchment and spread a thin layer of icing on top of one cake, the base, then place the second cake on top and ice that. For a ploughed field look just use the end of a fork!
This is a very simple birthday cake but by the end of the weekend I had made it 4 times! I admittedly was delighted when Lucas said ‘Tractor in mud’ when he saw it!!
Cluster 20. By the time we finished seeing the study patients, half the church was full (over 50 people waiting to be seen). We headed home in the dark with a long list of patients for surgery.