May 12 is a big day...a REALLY BIG day. No, not Independence Day. No, it is not International Women's Day (though here in Madagascar women actually got off of work for that day – at least off at the office). No, May 12 is the day Seth gets to celebrate his birthday at school. He was supposed to do that on his actual birthday, May 2, but we were celebrating on the beach (which was much more exciting for Mommy and Daddy). But Seth was uber excited.
At Seth's school each child sends invitations to the other children to come to his party at school. Then on that day each child brings in a gift for the birthday boy (or girl). At snack time the parents bring a cake and what-not for all the children to share, plus the parents also bring a party favor for all the kids. (For Seth's party Megan made balloon animals for all the children.) But the best part of the day, the part that really made Seth extra excited was that he could choose if he wanted to stay in school or go home after his party. Of course he chose to come home and Cole got to come home early too.
Now in Madagascar when you receive a wrapped present you do not open it in front of the people who gave it to you. So, Seth had to wait until he got home to see what he got. But we had no idea which present was from whom so we didn't have to do thank you cards – (not part of the culture). What Seth got was cheap junk from China. In America we are used to cheap junk from China – we think.....but here in Madagascar the stuff is cheaper still. One toy broke as Seth was trying to put it together for the first time. Pieces just kept falling off of it while he was getting ready to use it. Fortuneately we have explained this to the boys – about what made in China means here – so they have good attitudes about it. So, all afternoon Seth and Cole played with all his new toys. I don't think he stopped smiling all day. It was the best day ever!