Monday, May 4, 2009


(double click to enlarge)

I was 22 when we arrived (Susan was 21) in Sierra Leone (July 5, 1968) and 24 when we left. We celebrated birthdays quietly in our little house on Dama Road with Susan usually improvising birthday cakes. These were quiet events as in those days these events were not grounds for much in the way of celebration locally. Our Birthday cakes were usually simple - frosting was homemade as was the cake, and our simple birthday recognitions were together at our kitchen table (see photo above).   I do not remember any of our neighbors celebrating such events - birthdays were just another day for Sierra Leoneans. The cake would be made in our kitchen where I remember us having some sort of oven (supplied by a small canister of gas).   Most of the materials could be obtained in Kenema at one of the Indian Stores (Chellaram's or Chanrai's). I remember little in the way of presents that we bought for each other but I am sure we did get each other presents. Of course packages did arrive from home although sometimes several months late. This included a wax sealed birthday cake made once by Susan's sister which arrived after the 3 month transit sealed, but when opened it was covered by a fine, green velvety covering of mold. The thought was appreciated however we did not eat the cake. 

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