The prep for Miguel's afternoon birthday party actually started long before the party I mentioned in my last post, Birthday Party I.
Here is part of the cake that I started baking at seven in the morning (that's not so bad actually...but, it was Sunday morning...).
And here are some goodies for the treasure hunt that Paulo started laying out before I was even up.
After I had baked the cakes, I went to Birthday Party I, and when we got back, I set to work decorating my masterpiece.
With a camping themed party, we figured a campfire would make a good cake.
I attempted to make flames out of white chocolate (the only non-vegan component of the cake...but the cake wasn't for me to eat anyway, it was for the birthday boy. So, I did what made him happy).
Once the white chocolate was melted and dyed, I spread it out on wax paper and stuck it in the freezer to harden. I think there's still some left, but Miguel doesn't need to know that... ;)
By the way, melting white chocolate is not the easiest thing to do - especially on a funky gas stove like the one we have. Also, um, steam is really hot... :-/
Next, the outdoors-man wanted a manly beverage for his party, so I set out to get the
apple bug juice. ;)
If any of you would like the recipe, it's pretty simple: cockroach legs, fly wings, dragonfly eyeballs and caterpillar guts. If you don't have fresh cockroaches in your area, you may replace them with dried ones and some extra water. You may also try substituting with another insect, but I can't guarantee that the flavor will be quite right.
Finally my cakes had cooled and it was time to assemble!
Thanks, Mom, for the wonderful vegan carob icing! I could spread that stuff on gf toast...mmmm I'm sure it's better than Nutella!
The extreme heat and humidity were melting the icing as I spread it on, so I had to stick it in the fridge as fast as I could.
Here's a glimpse of our campfire in the fridge. lol
Just as I put the cake in the fridge, our happy campers arrived and set out on their treasure hunt.
At least to me, they're walking right past all the treasure. Just look at those flowers!
Water-bottles and maps in hand they set out on the trial.
Avo brought up the rear.
We started to see some incredible views of Dili by the time we got partway up the first hill.
When the explorers reached they're first base camp, they found some puzzles awaiting them.
Some took longer than others to finish, but that just meant I got to take more pictures of them.
This is Lake Tacitolu.
Can you see the clouds? There were storms going on over the hills around us, but we had our own little patch of sunshine. Praise the Lord! The storms around us even sent us cool breeze that was so relieving as we trekked along. hmmm Even storms can bring good things to those who are following the map and are on the right path... There are so many spiritual lessons to be learned on treasure hunts...
I'm pressing on the upward way, new hights I'm gaining every day...
I especially found this treasure hunt thought provoking because our path followed a Catholic pilgrimage trail that is marked with crosses along the way.
While we went, we came across several locals. These ladies wanted their pictures taken.
They were up on the hills gathering wood with their machetes. They didn't really seem to like it when I took pictures of them working, but this lady let me take one.
One thing I found inspiring about our hike was Avo. He is so determined! So old, and yet so strong and fit! He just kept hiking and hiking!
While the kids worked on their puzzles, he sat and read his book. Avo is such an amazing man. He's really become like a grandfather to me.
We finally reached our last base camp!
Under three crosses, the scouts finished their last challenge. Their final challenge turned out to be building several mini lego sets and bringing them back to the main camp in one piece, however, we adjusted the rules a bit and ended up giving at least half of the lego sets away to some local children who were also hiking. That's the way to do a treasure hunt. :)
Some more views from the end of our hunt.
A bunch of tired, sweaty kids...of all ages!
Thankfully there was a cool pool and some refreshments waiting for our little hikers.
These last ones are left over logs from the "campfire."
Last but not least, the campfire!
Here are a couple pics of the inside of the cake later in the evening.
So, what about all those puzzles that got solved on the treasure hunt? Every correct answer got to be cashed in for "Miguel Money" and could be used at the convenience store.
The lines at the cash register were quite long...
especially because people kept coming back and deciding to buy more...
Overall, I think it was a great party. The birthday boy had fun, the guests had fun, the food turned out, and we all slept really well afterwards! :)
Praise the Lord for another year of life for my dear Miguel!
Parabéns a você,
nesta data querida,
muitos anos de vida.
Hoje dia de festa,
cantam as nossas almas,
para o menino Miguel.
uma salva de palmas!