We celebrated our first Christmas outside the states this year. In a way we were really looking forward to it and at times we were dreading it knowing that we were guaranteed to feel homesick. We kept really busy over the last week and it turned out to be an awesome time for our family. We kicked off the week with Annikah’s school Christmas party. Her new teacher from South Africa (that replaced me in November) planned a party for the kids complete with cake and some poor guy wearing a Santa (or as most ex-pats here say Father Christmas) suit in 90 degree heat. He arrived to give each child a gift and just as last year Annikah was completely horrified by him (as were about half the kids in her class). So even though Santa still sucks to Miss A she did enjoy her gift and kept saying “Mama, Santa bring that but me no like Santa.” She was a bit conflicted; scary weird dude in a crazy get up brought me a sweet present, life is rough when you are 2.
I show off the picture frame Annikah made us
We also got to attend a local church service in English with Christmas carols a couple days before Christmas. This was a real treat and even though the church was crazy hot we enjoyed singing (even though the songs were mostly the British tune or version so my loud-off key self would start singing the wrong version with gusto). We also got to take a look at the organ after the service which was amazing as the church is a colonial remnant and reeks of history so it was amazing to explore the building a bit which I also got to do when looking for an appropriate place for Annikah to pee in the pitch black, ahhhh a story for another time.
no white Christmas but we did get to go swimming on Christmas day!!
On Christmas Eve and day we got to Skype with family and friends and even open gifts via the webcam. Of course, we wished we could have been together in person but the blessing of technology was awesome as it made the distance seem not as far. Annikah got way too many gifts from the generous packages we were sent (thanks so much everyone!) including her favorites: talking Elmo, play dough, and a pretty pony. She also enjoyed giving out candy canes on Christmas day in our neighborhood and wishing everyone a “Krismasi njema.” We made a nice Christmas dinner and enjoyed some tastes of home, at least as close to home as we could make here. Of course we made our traditional birthday cake for Jesus although with all the interruptions; power cuts, people stopping over, and visiting others,etc. it took 3 days to complete and decorate. Annikah was very proud of her creation and enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. She was sure to point out “Me make that cake for Jesus but Annikah eat that.” True Christmas spirit 🙂 The day after Christmas we had a team BBQ (they put squid and duck on the grill 🙂 luckily there was also some beef) and gift exchange. We also got a chance to better know one another with slide shows and videos of our “previous lives.” It was awesome to share more of our personal lives with our team mates here. Here are some pictures and a couple short videos of our Krismasi adventures. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas celebrating the gifts we have that cannot be wrapped or placed under any tree!
Anni & her new pony or as she calls it farasi (Kiswahili for horse)