How far would you go for a birthday party?

I went to Rome for my friend Katia’s 70th birthday. Yes, that’s Rome, Italy! My husband Clem and I have been friends with Katia and her husband Dominic for years.

Katia has been my friend for at least 30 years. We met through Nigerwives, an organization I helped found, for foreign wives of Nigerians. Our husbands are both Ibo and both engineers. (Ibos are one of the three major tribes in Nigeria.)

All three of their children were in Rome for the birthday celebrations. Katia arranged a wonderful experience. We toured the most important sites in Rome and had an Audience with the Pope. Her birthday Mass at Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore was led by another Ibo man, the Director of Diplomatic Protocol at the Vatican. Hotel Quirinale was the setting for her birthday dinner. We feasted and danced until midnight!

I asked her if she would like a gift to her favorite charity, and she agreed. Her son Roberto thought her choice would be the school she helped establish in her husband’s home town of Abatete in Eastern Nigeria. In the birthday card I told her that I would give her a check for the school at Christmas time when we’ll be in Nigeria, unless she told me she wanted the gift to go elsewhere.

What a fun birthday! And an extra benefit – because of Katia’s birthday party, I completely missed Hurricane Sandy.

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About catherineonyemelukwe.com

Author of memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad, blogger, board member U.S.National Committee for UN Women, former Peace Corps volunteer, Unitarian Universalist, expert in nonprofit management and fundraising, certified fundraising executive (CFRE), racial justice advocate..

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Birthdays, Family, Giving, international, Italy, School and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Gabi, I’m pleased to learn that you’ve also traveled far for birthday parties. Birthdays are such a wonderful time to celebrate our friends and family! My husband and I went from Connecticut to Cincinnati for my sister’s birthday on the day before Thanksgiving. We had to leave our house at 5:30 am for the flight from Newark, but as you said, worth it!

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  2. I’ve been to two birthday parties in England – way outside London – and just for the weekend. Exhausting, but fun, and my friend and my 80 year-old aunt were so pleased that it was worth it.

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  3. I asked her if she would like a gift to her favorite charity, and she agreed. Her son Roberto thought her choice would be the school she helped establish in her husband’s home town of Abatete in Eastern Nigeria. In the birthday card I told her that I would give her a check for the school at Christmas time when we’ll be in Nigeria, unless she told me she wanted the gift to go elsewhere.

    Like

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