Two weeks ago the father of Grace invited us to his home on July 2nd for her birthday party. We had already planned a small vacation to the coast of Kenya, but were more than happy to ensure we would return just in time for the gathering. On the dalla dalla ride to Njiapanda village we discussed our expectations of what this day would entail. We figured maybe there would be a few of Grace's family members sitting around a table, eating food, and sharing laughs together.

As we approached the house we could hear loud music and became excited at the thought of a potential dance party with some of the locals. We were greeted by a number of Mama's, who grabbed us by the arms and scurried us around the corner of the house. Little did we know, there was a minister preaching to an entire village of people, and a row of chairs set up for us to face the crowd. As the minister announced our arrival, everyone stood up and began cheering. We were completely taken by suprise to find out that not only were we celebrating Grace's birthday, but also they had prepared a celebration of thanks in our honor. For the next couple of hours a number of Grace's family members and locals came forward with prepared speeches about how grateful they were for the work we had done. Because it was a Christian gathering, there was a lot of praying, singing, dancing, and overall feelings of joy and happiness.  Jennilee and I were completely overwhelmed, to the point where we couldn't look at one another because we might burst out in tears. All of the Mama's at the party lined up to give us hugs and kisses, and they had even bought us a gift. We truly did feel like Queens for a day!

After the ceremony we proceeded to eat mounds and mounds of deliciously prepared food until we couldn't breath. We figured we should probably be on our way home, as it was nearing 430 pm, and the sun goes down so early in Tanzania. However, when we tried to say thank you and goodbye, the music was turned up and everyone began dancing as if it were their last day on earth. Of course we couldn't help but shake our matako (butt)!

We are so grateful for the lives we live and fully realize that not everyone in the world is granted equal opportunities. Improving the lives of those who need it is one of the most rewarding feelings. It is moments like these that make everything worthwhile in the end!

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