Lucy is a social butterfly regardless of culture. We have always done birthday parties with just our family and the Chappells, but decided this year it would be fun for Lucy to have a friend birthday party since she loves her Menya friends so much. Celebrating birthdays is not something folks in PNG do (most don’t even know their ages), so they were super excited to come to a birthday party!
They had heard rumor that people bring gifts to the birthday girl at a birthday party, so these sweet girls came bearing flowers. Nawi (in the red) also gave Lucy a gift–you’ll see that below.
We kept things simple and had popcorn, fruit and tang for snacks (and plain chocolate cupcakes that we didn’t bring out until later) and just hung up our birthday banner (Thanks Elisabeth and Annabelle! We still love our banners and use them all the time!) to decorate.
Lucy thought about what her friends would enjoy doing, and based her party activities on that. First up, painting nails! The girls always love painting nails with Lucy since they don’t have their own nail polish.
Belle helped Beri out.
We played a ring toss game next. Notice Hoka and Gabi in the background. They are Nawi’s parents who live next door, and they were watching through the fence so we invited them in. They were just as excited as the kids to see a real birthday party. It was cute. Hoka’s parents and sister actually watched at the fence for a while too, but they wouldn’t come in to sit.
Then we had a water balloon toss.
Next they played “Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat” (a game that the Menya kids love to play and taught to our kids).
Cupcake time! The candles wouldn’t stay lit because of the wind, and the girls didn’t know the song, so we got a good laugh, but it was fun. Oddly enough, none of the Menya girls really liked the cupcakes! They all thought the icing was too sweet. They preferred the popcorn and sugar fruit! But they liked getting to try an American tradition.
Nawi, our closest neighbor and Lucy’s best friend, gave Lucy a bilum. It was hers, but she washed it and decorated it with flowers so she could give it to Lucy as a present. I thought that was just so sweet!
Finally, the kids made beaded necklaces. This was another thing Lucy requested that she knew the girls would just love–and she was right. Beads are a real treat to all the Menyans–even the adults. They all had fun stringing their necklaces and were excited to wear them home.
It was a really fun afternoon celebrating our sweet girl turning 10 with her friends! Lucy even said it was her favorite party yet!