Ramadan is over and there is mad partying going on here. The best way to describe the celebration is that it is similar to the hoopla surrounding Christmas stateside. After the month of fasting there is a four day Eid festival, parties, tons of eating, presents, and in general the people are a lot happier….they can eat now and that always makes me happy! We have been crazy busy as well with guests stopping over (I have been baking an arsenal of banana bread to be standing by in case someone comes over with a gift which has come in handy a few times). We have also been checking out the festivities because it is valuable for us to understand the culture and attend events like this, plus anywhere where there is food, loud music, and hundreds of people I am there!! We went to the Eid festival 3 days in a row because we were told that we had to attend and every time we we there we would run into people we knew from our neighborhood. We were always hearing “mama Anni?” being screamed from some direction and it was a blessing to realize that we are beginning to settle in and be known, something we so loved about living in Chicago. We also got to hang out with our team members that attended and explore together. It seems as though everyone goes to the celebration as it is packed. It is like a huge street fest in Chicago with food, music, and games. The games are not so much Bozo buckets as casino games for kids.
ring toss….very creative
gambling for tikes
Just to give you a glimpse of the festivities the first day of Eid was children’s day and the kids can ask anyone for money or candy (luckily we had candy on hand). It is sort of like Halloween except the kids are all wearing brand new (if they can afford it) outfits. The girl’s especially are dressed to the 9’s in dresses and siblings usually have the same fabric for their outfits. The women also wear new clothes in bright fabrics and many have heena done. They sell tons of children’s toys at the festival that we have never seen elsewhere here. We were able to find Annikah a plastic tea set for her new table
. She has already had numerous chai parties with her friend. We also managed to be stealthy and stock up on a few Christmas presents that are now in hiding for her as well since we have never seen this many toys anywhere here and the prices were not bad. There was even an area set up with blow up bouncy castles and mini trampolines. It was 500 shillings for 5 minutes (about 40 cents) and Anni got to play 10 minutes each day, except the first day as in African style they had everything set out but no one knew when they would get power so nothing was blown up. Annikah LOVED jumping around and playing on the slides and we decided to let her go everyday as it will be a year before that is set up again. We also played a bit of food Russian roulette by trying various street vendor foods. With only one bad result (I will spare you the details but lets just say our stomach’s are getting tougher living here) we overall loved it, especially the fresh sugar cane juice with lime. After dark it is so dark that it is difficult to see but we manged to find our car each night and drive out of the festival, trust me this was a miracle. It was awesome to get to experience the way another culture celebrates and although there are so many differences I am constantly amazed at how similar people are, whether we live in Tanzania or Chicago. To celebrate people eat, play, laugh, listen to music, and are surrounded by others. We really enjoyed being able to be a part of the festivities.
Jason and Anni search for some local food to try
Annikah sports her new sunglasses purchased for 30 cents,
she had to get a pair for her rafiki too!
tons of kids & toys
our cheesy photo booth picture..we had to get one…gotta love the background
the festival after dark
ice cream bars…YUM!
Anni loved her mango Popsicle
When we got home Annikah and her rafiki sported their matching shades!