Feb. 8.

To be honest, I was a little bummed about being out of the country for my birthday. As an adult, I love celebrating my birthday. I blame it on the fact that I only had one birthday party as a child, so I’m making up for lost time.

The day wasn’t exactly how I like to spend my birthday. In total, we hiked for four hours visiting water projects. However, as I was offered the best seat in the house, a beautiful chair covered in a goat skin, I reflected on how lucky I am to be doing work that is truly meaningful. My role is small in the work of providing clean water to villages in need. I’m not a geologist or a well digger, but rather I connect the need to those who have a heart to make a difference.

I am passionate about my work and love what I do. How many people are able to say that about their job?

The day finished up at a local traditional restaurant. We were entertained by dances from the different areas of Ethiopia. The dance style is different than anything I’ve ever visited and their moves defy having bones in their necks. Shakira can shake her hips, but the Ethiopians can move, shimy and shake their shoulders, heads and torso in something akin to be shocked by electricity. The food is served family style. Huge platters of injera, roasted goat, vegetables and bread arrived and everyone dug in.

Just when my eyes were dropping and I thought the night was over. A cake appeared along with gifts. The entire restaurant cheered and lots of children were happy about getting a share of the cake. Next year, I think I’ll make a point of being in Ethiopia on my birthday. #bestbirthdaypartyever