Alyssa’s actual birthday is Oct 4th, but for all intents and purposes, it was celebrated our first night, Oct 12th. Friday nights are happy hour at Treelodge, so we had a good time with the usual crew of expats that turns up. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I have no photos of Friday’s shenanigans. Saturday I had the opportunity to Skype a few friends and family members back home, and before I knew it, it was time for our sunset cruise. Maria graciously presented us with champagne and a bucket of ice to celebrate the occasion. It was a solid turnout of World Teach volunteers, us PCVs, two of the JICA (Japanese Peace Corps) volunteers, and a couple expats filling the boat. Afterward a bunch of us washed up and had my birthday dinner at Bully’s, the Treelodge restaurant. (Thanks Dad & Nicole!) We told Maria ahead of time that we’d take care of the birthday cakes, but she insisted on taking over at least one of them. There was a humorous dichotomy between the two nights, as Saturday’s post-dinner events were of a much classier variety. We all sprawled around the hotel room, scattered amongst our electronic devices sharing and transferring e-books. Champagne, ice cream cake, good company. Not a bad way to start year 24, I think.