So now I’m continuing from the last post and just jumping right back to Christmas. The Christmas season is not a big deal here. Some people will go to church on Christmas and have a nice meal, and that is the most celebrating most families have. The expat community (expat= someone not from this country) really makes efforts to make it feel like Christmas time. We had get togethers to eat cookies and sing Christmas songs, and we even had a party at our house for the first time! On Christmas Eve, CCR (my church) had a kids’ party in the afternoon and then a candlelight service that was very nice in the evening. It felt strange to not have gone our Christmas shopping at all…and hearing “busy sidewalks” in the song Silver Bells cracked me up because we don’t even have many sidewalks. It did, however, feel like Christmas when Shannon brought 2 suitcases full for me!!!! I had composed a list of requests and sent her some money to purchase things and bring them over for me. Some wonderful people also donated things as well! So, I really got spoiled this Christmas. In fact, when I’m finished typing, I’m going to go make coffee and drink it was hazelnut creamer!!! I got great things for school, food and candy, toiletries, and some new clothes too! One of my favorite things was that a few people saw Shan before she left and sent notes and gifts with her
It was pretty unreal to have someone from my life in the states come to my new stomping grounds. I just wondered all the time how she perceived things. Spending time walking and talking with someone is the best…it makes me think about how often times I find myself reading about God or talking about Jesus with someone else—but how much sweeter would it be if I was just walking and talking to Him. Maybe the physical presence is a bit different, but I still think that’s what I need to be seeking.
Ok- there is SO much I could keep babbling about…so I’m just going to share 2 things…what I did on Christmas day and what my plans are for this week.
- Christmas Eve I went to the children’s Christmas party at my church, and in the evening we had a candle light service with singing and scripture reading and candles. It felt like Valley to me. On Christmas Day, I had the best plans in the world, but they didn’t end up working out. Our friends were going to take us to an orphanage to hand out candy and talk with the people, but since we hadn’t been before and the office was closed we couldn’t sign in. That was quite the disappointment. But, we did have a lovely day. After running to Bourbon to use internet (not unusual), I rested at home for a bit and then went to Kimironko market to pick up some fruits. I looked for shoes too, but not luck. We brought our fruit over to Joe and Phoebe’s house, where there had been lots of preparations going on for an enormous Christmas dinner. There were 9 of us in total, from at least 5 countries, so we sort of brought together many of our traditions (like a party favor called a xmas cracker) and had a wonderful meal together. It just felt homey to be sharing a big meal and enjoying the company of other people, even if it wasn’t our actual families. Plus- while I was there I was the lucky recipient of overseas phone calls of which I was passed around and got to hear everyone’s voices. That was quite the highlight.
After dinner, Cady and I went to our friend Jenny’s house. We hung around and chatted with some of our friends. Since school has been out, we've hung out with our friends Yvan and Skizzy pretty regularly. They didn’t really do anything at all to celebrate Christmas which is hard for me to fathom. Even after all we’d been doing for the past week or two to get in the Christmas spirit, it was still lacking a lot of the festivity I’m used to…so there is a big contrast in cultures.
-Plans for this week…I’m going to Tanzania!! I wouldn’t have been able to point it out on a map several months ago, but now it’s next door and happened to just call my name! Jess and Marissa left last week and bused through Uganda and Kenya and they will be meeting us in Tanzania. Liz and Cady and I are leaving tomorrow morning! We don’t have all the details planned; we just know what we want to see and an idea of what to do when we get there.
Thanks for keeping up…I don’t know how to set these to get comments…but feel free to email me