Fun and Gifts for Maya’s Birthday

“All kids are excited about their birthdays and expect them so much only because of the gifts. If there were no gifts, no kid would ever care about their birthday…”- Maya, who never before had so many gifts for her birthday.

Maya's twelfth birthday

Maya’s twelfth birthday

On October 27th, 2015, Maya celebrated her twelfth birthday which historically became her Most Presents Ever Birthday, and not because we like to spoil her, but because YOU DO!

It was an epic unforgettable birthday that stretched for a month before the actual day and continued for some time after. And even though we are in Panama, away from friends and family, this year we were not alone in organizing the celebration and buying the gifts, sharing the joy of this day with thirty known and unknown friends from around the world, who all sent us their generous contributions. Shopping for gifts has never been more epic and fun! Thank you all!

Maya shopping gifts for her birthday

Maya shopping gifts for her birthday

Tuesday, October 27 Maya spent with Noee, her friend and only kid-neighbor here in Panama’s anchorage, a ten-years-old girl from New Caledonia, who like Maya is sailing around the world with her mom and dad, living aboard S/V Taff Tumas. For the two girls living at sea, playing at deserted beaches, visiting beautiful islands, hiking in jungles, jumping from waterfalls, climbing mountains and volcanoes, swimming in colorful coral gardens and enjoying the best of World’s Nature is a way of life, a routine, something they do on a daily base. But spending one special day completely removed from nature, in the Game Zone of Panama’s biggest shopping mall, air-conditioned, filled with videogames, with artificial lighting, surrounded only by technology, and not an inch of grass or sky or sea or sand around, was a rare and very much enjoyed experience! Albrook Mall, here we come!

Maya and Noee with Barney at Albrook Mall, Panama

Maya and Noee with Barney at Albrook Mall, Panama

They had a blast and the curious thing is that both girls did not pay much attention to the videogames, but chose to play more interactive games like table hokey, bowling, and dance.

Having fun in the Game Zone

Having fun in the Game Zone

It turned out that Noee is a professional bowling-player and she won a whole bunch of tickets for prizes, as she didn’t miss a shot. Maya, on the other hand spent the two hours we were in the Game Zone mostly dancing and jumping in front of a big screen with super fun Japanese pop songs. Krasi Raycheva, my dearest friend, the Game Zone fun was on you, thank you!

The Dance Floor

The Dance Floor Competition

After the Game Zone, tired but excited and extremely hungry, Maya and her only birthday guest decided it is time for pizza, everyone’s favorite snack, isn’t it! Thank you for the pizza, Peter Ivanov!

Pizza time!

Pizza time!

Back on the boat a chocolate cake decorated with fresh strawberries and twelve candles was awaiting the birthday girl. Thank you for the cake, Zori Beraha!

Maya and the Birthday cake

Maya and the Birthday cake

And the most thrilling of all moments of any kid’s life- the unpacking of the birthday gifts!

From Noee, Maya got a gift certificate which she spent on new markers, crayons and other arts&craft materials. Thank you Noee! Our Aruban friend Patrizia gave Maya a coloring book with Van Gog’s paintings and four new Pet-Shops (Maya’s favorite small plastic animals), who joined the ranks of many others living in small boxes on the boat, each with a name and a story. Thank you, Patrizia!

Meet Alice the bunny, Sam the cat, Fifi the spider and Violet the frog!

Meet Alice the bunny, Sam the cat, Fifi the spider and Violet the frog!

Ivo and I got her a few new outfits and a second-hand Samsung phone with a camera, so she can take better photos for her Instagram account. Thank you, mom and dad!

The rest is all the many wonderful gifts she would probably not receive if it wasn’t for YOUR DONATIONS! Thank you ALL!

Hiking Shoes: Merrell Thermo Waterproof black leather hiking boots for men size 7. Maya fell in love with these hiking shoes, after trying hundreds of different ones in different stores, even though they are for men. Hiking is serious business, she said, and it doesn’t matter if the shoes are for girls or boys, as long as they are comfortable, strong, waterproof and do the job. We bought them at a reduced price for $104.00 together with Columbia Hiker Lite Merino wool socks for $10.00. There is nothing more important for the serious mountaineer than her shoes! Thank you, Dani and Denyu Bostandzhievi, and anonymous!

A backpack: Mountain Hard Wear Fluid 18 L, for $93.00. Super light and fast-dry material, very comfortable and awesome looking backpack for some serious stuff-carrying up mountains and volcanoes. Thank you, Zdravko Simeonov, Carl Robinson, Pavel Vachkov, Media 1 LTD, Kiril Bozhinov, and anonymous!

Maya with her new awesome hiking gear

Maya with her new awesome hiking gear

You will soon have the chance to see this high quality hiking shoes, socks and backpack in action, as in the beginning of December we are heading to the rainforests and volcanoes of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, followed by the high mountains and lakes of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in January, February and March of 2016.

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Snorkeling gear: Oceanic ION mask with twin lens frame and 100% silicone skirt, and NEO easy adjustment strap; Oceanic Ultra Dry snorkel with dual valves for easy cleaning, flex 100% replaceable mouthpiece; and Oceanic Viper high-stretch open heel fins for a total of $192.00. Living on a boat, in the sea, Maya needs those super amazing fins, mask, and snorkel more than you can imagine. Thank you, Ventsislav Georgiev, Iliyana Koleva, Pascal Pascalev, Doncho Donev, Kocka and Deian Dimitrovi, Vera Nikiforova, Mitko Dimitrov, Boyko Ivanov, and Mihayl Zamfirov!

Maya with her new super amazing snorkeling gear

Maya with her new super amazing snorkeling gear

Hopefully, in April 2016, Maya will be swimming, snorkeling and scuba-diving with her new high-quality mask, snorkel and fins among the seals of the Galapagos Islands, and after the Big Crossing of the Pacific Ocean in May, she will be in the blue liquid-glass waters surrounding the volcanic tall islands of the Marquesas and French Polynesia.

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New bed sheets: 500 thread Egyptian Cotton (made for Europe) Queen size for $40.00. Maya loves the new fashion look of her cozy cabin and the comfort of these quality sheets. Thank you, Silviya Pavlova and Vera Boyadzhieva!

Maya and Buba cozy in her new bed sheets

Maya and Bubba cozy in their new bed sheets

Animal Jam 6-month membership for $30.00. This is Maya’s favorite computer game, an interactive educational on-line game about nature and animals created by National Geographic. Thank you, Robert Stewart, Ivelina Saltova, and Boryana Pavlova!

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About $90.00 from all donations are still not spent and we decided to keep them and buy Maya a surf, something that she would really appreciate a lot, later on, for which we thank you, Garth and Monique Williamson, Dimitar Milenkov, Milkana Nentcheva, and Gergana Ermenkova!

 

Your generosity and support are overwhelming and there is no way we can thank you enough! Your donations, birthday wishes and love have brought to this extraordinary young girl who lives on a boat and travels the world a mountain of joy and a sea of happiness.Hopefully, she will return the joy and happiness back to you through her stories and adventures.

This was a truly heartwarming experience. Thank you!

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