March 4th was a Saturday like any other on tour. Deborah woke up at her host home, and started thinking about the day ahead. It would be full of rehearsals, sound checks, and performances.  The choir was performing at the children’s museum in Las Vegas. Deborah got to ride the elevator there, and figured that would be the most exciting part of her day.

Happy Birthday Deborah!

What Deborah didn’t know is that Auntie Alexis (the tour leader) had pulled her host family aside the night before and whispered some very interesting information in their ears: March 4th was Deborah’s birthday!

Like most poor families in Uganda, Deborah’s family had never really celebrated birthdays. Simply surviving was enough to worry about – there was no time or extra resources to recognize anything as trivial as a birthday. So Deborah had no idea that March 4th could be different than any other day.

But this host family was determined to make her day special! They banded together with Deborah’s choir family and gave her a birthday she’ll never forget!

When she walked back in her host home’s door after their performance, Deborah was amazed to see it decked out in balloons and streamers. For the very first time celebrating her birthday, she got an amazing surprise party! The choir sang her Happy Birthday – as you can imagine, those little professionals made it sound a lot better than your average birthday serenade! And from there it just kept getting better…!

Next up: presents! These unexpected gifts were a huge happy surprise. Even the tour leaders didn’t know they were in the works. There’s not a lot of room on the tour bus for anything big, but that doesn’t mean that gifts can’t be special. Deborah got a brand new headband (with bows big enough to make even her happy), a sparkly princess ball cap and a bright pink T-shirt.

A cake fit for Princess Deborah!

But the highlight of the night was an incredible birthday cake, baked with love by her host family. Deborah couldn’t have imagined anything so amazing. Beautiful shades of pink – her favorite color! – layers of creamy frosting that looked just like a princess dress, a special message carefully lettered on the top, and 11 pink candles!

So this is what a birthday party looks like! Deborah was thrilled and so happy to be a princess for a day. She couldn’t believe someone had gone to all that trouble to bake a cake just for her!

The incredible thing is that this is a story repeated again and again as the Choir travels around the country. Our host families have nothing but love and generosity for each child. We want to give a special thanks to the host families that go above and beyond to make the Choir’s time in the U.S. a positive experience!

As Deborah snuggled into her blankets that night, she couldn’t keep the smile off her face. Her “ordinary” Saturday had turned into one of the best days of her life!

Happy birthday Deborah!


Each child in the Ugandan Kids Choir is full of personality. Click here to learn more about each kid!