23 Going On 13

Gather around, kids, as I dig into my archive of hadithi (stories) for your enjoyment.

My birthday was way back in December and we went out to the coast for a likizo (break). One of the restaurants we have frequented employed a man, who quickly became a friend of ours, Juma. I invited Juma out to the coast to celebrate my birthday and to my happy surprise he actually came.

We hung out on the beach and talked once we finally met up. He was reallllly concerned that I didn’t know what time I was born. He kept asking me and saying he couldn’t tell me happy birthday and feed me cake (that’s a thing here) until he knew what time. He even gave me a present and a card.¬†I wasn’t expecting that at all, so I was really moved by that.

While we were chatting he told me about his journey there and how he scrambled to get this present because his first idea fell through. He had a little bottle of locally made liquor and told me he went to buy it before he came to meet us. I then learned that this was the first present he wanted to get me. He had some doubts so when he was talking to the mama who was selling it, he asked if she thought it was a good present. The mama then asked him how old his friend was, to which he replied, “13.”


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