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a birthday love story.

March 10, 2012

A few days ago I met a guy named Missy who is from Tanzania. We were chatting it up, and he was really impressed that I had been to his home country. He actually said that I was now on his list of people he favors (as opposed to his list of favorite people…I love how Africans phrase things). He asked me when I was there, and I stopped dead in my tracks because I couldn’t believe it’s been two years. It got me thinking to how I celebrated my birthday that year.

(watch the video if you want to be very amused)

For those of you who followed my journey with the World Race, you probably remember the story of how I got to eat American cake and ice cream the night before my birthday. It made me cry.

I remember not being very excited for my birthday, mostly because I was in the middle of Tanzania, and anything that I would really want for my birthday was absolutely inaccessible at that point. We spent the day doing random ministry, going to visit our host mom’s sister at the hospital, etc. I told my team that I wanted to go get pizzas at an Italian restaurant in town for my birthday dinner.

This was also during the time when I was realizing that I loved Colby. Like, for REAL. For those of you who haven’t followed my story since the World Race, let me remind you that the cardinal rule on the Race was no relationships PERIOD. I was having a hard time sorting out my feelings, plus I had no idea how Colby felt about me. That morning in our team meeting, however, our whole team wrote me notes of encouragement. His was the sweetest thing, and as I read it and saw the effort that he put into it, my heart was about to explode. I taped it in my journal…

That night, we went to dinner, which happened to be across the street from the internet café. Two of my teammates ordered and immediately left to go do some internet time. This would normally be fine, since it took so long for our food to actually come, but I was pretty bummed about it because it was supposed to be my birthday celebration, and they just peaced. I was upset, partly because of that and partly because I wished I was with my family at home, but I tried not to let it show. The remaining 4 of us were playing cards at the table, and my tears were about to brim over. Colby took one look at me, said, “be right back,” and walked over to the internet café. He returned, and following him were my two team members.

After dinner we went back to our host family’s house, where a hilarious game ensued along with more birthday cake and singing. When that ended, we headed back to our little room to do feedback. I had requested to do feedback (our nightly team meeting, for you non-World Racers) outside under the stars. The power was out, as it often was that month, which was perfect for my purposes of stargazing. We finished our meeting, and most of the team went inside to get ready for bed. I stayed out, laying on a blanket and trying to see a shooting star. Colby lingered for just a minute longer than everyone else. He said, “You almost started to cry at dinner, didn’t you?”

I answered back, “Yeah.”

He said, “I know. I’m sorry. I went to the internet café and told those two to come back to be with you on your birthday.”

The fact that he knew me, noticed, and cared was the only birthday present I needed that year.


PS: I had the BEST birthday yesterday. Thanks to everyone who gave me a gift, wrote on my wall, called, texted, etc. I felt so loved. And I met Jasmine. Soooo, what more could I want?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2012 8:58 am

    Great story…can I just say that when you guys would come to my house for dinner when you were in TZ that I “observed” you and Colby and told Jodie that I wondered where things would go with you two after the race…hmm, I’m pretty good at “observing!” :)

  2. lacey permalink
    March 10, 2012 8:59 am

    This makes me so happy, I’m so glad you had such a great day! And that you can now say that Colby is your hubs. :)

  3. Lori Spradlin permalink
    March 10, 2012 9:37 am

    I’m glad you write. This is the first one I’ve read, but its interesting to get to know you this way. Bill has been with Kelly so long I feel like he’s a blood relative and even Jason, Idalia and Mark I’ve spent time with over the years so its interesting to have a relative now that I’ve never met. I look forward to meeting you : )

  4. Victoria permalink
    March 10, 2012 9:32 pm

    Dear Friend! Happy Birthday, sorry I am bad at that and always miss everyones birthday. Also on the race I also spent my birthday in Tanzania!! Annnd I went to pizza too! Love it and you! PS. hope you are enjoying your awesome rainbows we bought together!

  5. March 11, 2012 8:22 am

    this is such a cool story…cant lie: almost cried. love you two.

  6. Marissa permalink
    March 11, 2012 3:23 pm

    Whatta guy, that Colby. I also like it when Dan almost cries over something. Glad you had a good bday then and now!

  7. March 12, 2012 7:57 pm

    Happy belated birthday Chels. I love this memory that you and Colby have – it’s so sweet!

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