OK: first of all, sorry for our absence. By the time we had holidays to write about, we were suddenly crazy busy. More on that in the next few weeks.
We returned to the base for the evening. There is an outreach team from Hawaii here, so we fired up the projector and watched a movie together. As we returned to our room in the dark, I walked barefoot into our bedroom to turn on our mosquito repeller. It took me a moment to realize I was walking on broken glass. Then I saw a dark shape on the floor in the middle of the glass: Maybe someone threw something through our window? Nope. Dead pigeon. Ugh. (The curtains had even been closed!) So, as Christmas Eve progressed towards midnight, Mike was A-MAZING and cleaned most of the glass from our floor, our bed, our carpets, etc. Without a vacuum. And he dealt with the dead bird. I felt really awful, like someone had specifically invaded and wrecked our comfortable space. On Christmas Eve!
We got up Christmas morning feeling a little less invaded and made french toast! Our loose plan had been to go to a pool for the day, but it wasn’t a very nice day (only about 18 celcius 🙂 ), so we decided to try to wait for another day. We celebrated all together with MEAT for supper. Sadly, Mike was ill that night, so we didn’t go swimming the next day, and we delayed til the next day our private special meal to make us feel less homesick: perogies! YUM! They were wonderful.
By now you are surely getting the feeling that our celebrations were mostly about food. You are right.
New Years Eve we went back to our friends’ house (now it becomes important to know that he is Dutch). We made olliebollen, which I often make with my mom at New Years. YAY! We also reprised the bread dough and made a kind of braided pizza bread.
We are making some great friends, Godfrey & Hope. They live about 5 minutes away from the base. Godfrey runs the finance/administration office for YWAM. Hope runs a ministry with prostitutes. We are taking kinyarwanda lessons with Hope. They invited us to go out with them in the evening for a meal and bowling. We hopped on motos (its a good way to travel quickly without breaking the bank), and felt like a moto-gang as we went to the Chinese restaurant. We walked around back to the beautiful garden restaurant, and saw that the place was almost empty. “Do you have reservations?” they asked. We almost laughed, seeing all the empty tables. “We’re full,” they told us. hmmm… OK. So, we tried to regroup. None of us go out very much, so it was hard to come up with another place to go. We wondered, considered, and Hope volunteered that she knew of a Mexican place – we thought we could try it. So, we recruited 4 more motos, and our little moto gang travelled to the Mexican place. CLOSED.
We couldn’t believe it – strike 2. We dithered for a bit, didn’t want to go backwards, and finally decided to just go to the place we were planning to bowl at: apparently there was a small cafe there. Motos again. When we pulled up to the place, some guys were handing out flyers: for a New Year’s party, that apparently went until 4 am. Well, we weren’t really looking for a party, but no one else was there, so we decided that if we were at a place we could get food, we would stay. So then a mzungu came along and explained to us: “They are all busy getting ready for the party later.” Apparently, the party starts at 4 am. Its the after-party that everyone comes to when all the other parties close. Last year there were 1500 people!!!! We couldn’t believe that. “So… can we get some food anyway?” Sure (he told us, disappointed that we weren’t really excited abouyt partying until noon the next day). So by 10 pm, we finally got to eat. It wasn’t the amazing Chinese we had originally been planning on, but burgers were still a nice treat.
Then bowling! Theres not much in the way of recreation available, so this is very exciting. Godfrey, who had never bowled before, left us all in the dust.
And we took motos one more time on the way home!
All in all, our celebrations were pretty low key, a little disappointing, but we did get to hang out with some good friends and have a some rest before the big plunge. We had great communication from people at home and even got one of our Christmas packages!