I have participated in a lot of cultural celebrations while I have been here, but this last one was really unique. Groups of people from all around and outside of the city formed processions and marched into the center of town. I can’t give specifics, and I am sorry because it is real interesting (so you need to ask me about it when I get back home…) But I can tell you there was a lot of singing, red carpet rolling, drumming, and dancing. I am pretty sure that I walked 5 miles with my group in the midday African sun…it was exhausting but very beautiful.
The National Christmas is not until the 7th of January in the country so the holidays just stretched on for me. They have adopted some western holiday practices like the Christmas tree and lights, but most people don’t decorate. The main tradition here is to get together with friends and family and eat a bunch of food. They have been on a vegan fast for 4 weeks, so there is a lot of meat being served. Everyone buys chicken, sheep, goats and cows at the market a few days before hand and then you can hear them bleat and cry all over the city. I was invited over to two houses for the day. I ate a lot of spicy chicken wat, boiled eggs, and injera. I was also given a lot of coffee. Both houses performed coffee ceremonies where you are given the traditional three rounds of the drink. Popcorn and a special type of bread was served at the houses as well. Needless to say, I was very full and very caffeinated that day.
Filed under Food, Holiday
I spent my second Christmas overseas – and you know what? – it wasn’t that bad. The first year was pretty depressing, but this year I really tried to create the things I missed. They do not really have any Christmas traditions here – except eating a lot of food. So we found a Christmas tree, bought and made presents, decorated cookies, watched a lot of Christmas movies, and went caroling. We felt like a family this year. It was good for my heart.
Roasted chicken, homegrown yams, pickled beets. Everyone put their best foot forward this year. I was stuffed to the brim.
Filed under Food, Holiday
This year, we turned my annual pumpkin carving party into a super-kid-friendly harvest party. We played all sorts of games, ate all sorts of candy, and carved all sorts of pumpkins. Oh, and the best part? Watching Casper to close the day. What comes a close second? Watching all the kids dunk for oranges. (I know, it is weird to not have apples in the fall.)
This weekend we celebrated Megadis’ 5 year birthday. Megadis is our house-worker’s little girl. She has spunk and attitude. We thought the perfect things to give her were “movie star” sunglasses, costume jewelry, and bubbles. She danced around her mom’s coffee ceremony and her birthday cake, blowing bubbles as close to our faces as we would let her. Here’s to five more years of craziness!
Have I mentioned that we get bored frequently here? Well, we also like throwing parties – so whats better than having a 4th of July Independence Day party where half the guests are not even from America! We threw a cookout and invited our German, African, Australian, and American friends to celebrate freedom everywhere. Our fireworks were rained-out, but that just gave us extra time to gather inside and sing all of our National Anthems, in the dark (that’s right, our electricity was out). It was definitely a memorable 4th.
Filed under Friends, Holiday