Five birthdays have passed for each of us since we’ve started this nomadic journey and we’ve been blessed to find ourselves amongst beautiful community during these precious milestones. This year, however, was the first birthday our son, Banjo, was able to celebrate in Australia.
Banjo was actually born in Australia on May 22, 2001 and holds both an US and Australian passport. We moved to the US when he was five weeks old and have been back and forth over the years but never during his birthday month.
This year he turned 15 and we were able to celebrate an early family dinner in Melbourne before making our way north to Sydney. We took a hike through the neighborhood and came back for his favorite Mexican dish.
On a side note: Making a Mexican dish in Australia has become easier over the years, as ingredients make their way across the sea, however it’s still a feet to manage. The most difficult is finding authentic corn tortillas. The Australian company, Essential makes them but they cost about $5 for an 8 pack. The brands, Mission and El Paso are on the shelves in limited quantities, but they aren’t our favorite. And, finding tomatillos and Pinto beans is a whole other story. We can however, find all of the chilies, and then some, cilantro is available in plenty (although they call it coriander), and avocados are readily available at about $2.50 a pop.
Anyway, Banjo had a blast with all of his cousins and the night was topped off by his favorite dessert, cinnamon rolls (or as they call them here, coffee scrolls).
The party continued a few weeks later with a guest appearance from his sister, Graciana, who flew up from Bendigo. It had been 2 months since he last saw her, and they soaked up every moment.
He spent time at the beach twirling fire, a round of golf with Craig and with our friends, the Von Heupts, who organized an epic night out, including gelato and a movie. Not, just any movie though, Banjo had somehow come across a trailer for a New Zealand comedy called Hunt for the Wilderpeople. (If you haven’t seen the movie we highly recommend it!) The movie is directed by Taika Waititi and is based on ‘Wild Pork and Watercress,’ Barry Crump’s book about a juvenile delinquent left in the care of rough yet loving foster parents who live off the wilds of the New Zealand bush. Two worlds collide and it’s so funny!! Anyway, he looked up show times and found out that there was going to be a special pre-show viewing on his actual birthday, which was perfect.
The Von Heupts organized for an entourage of youth to surround and celebrate Banjo, including their three children. Eleven of us total went the movie together. So Banjo and his friends sat together near the front of the theatre, giggling and squirming around in their seats. The movie was hilarious but when Banjo spilled his popcorn on the lady in front of him, the night went to stitches.
It’s so fun to watch our boy become a man. He’s taller than us two Holland girls and gaining on his dad. He has amazing drumming skills and loves anything to do with technology or psychology. Boasting that maybe someday he’ll write a book like his Papa. He’s a natural learner and has a super fun sense of humor.
He’s always wanted his own computer so he could study coding and how to make video games. So, over the course of the year he saved all of his pretty pennies. That, along with a bit of help from family, and he was able to see that dream come true.
We’re thankful for family and friends near and far who love and support our family and especially those who do little things to show our son that he is loved. Thank you!!
Happy 15 year of your life Banjo Holland!! We love you.