Friday, January 05, 2007

Christmas in Kenya

Christmas was interesting. It didn’t feel at all like Christmas, although I tried to remind myself that Christmas is not just about feelings and traditions. It’s about Jesus.

The week before Christmas, we cut down a cyprusy/piney tree for firewood, so I snagged soma branches to make a “Christmas tree” and a wreath. I was proud of the wreath, and every time I came into the room, it smelled like Christmas. Hurray!

On Christmas Eve, we sat as a family (after spaghetti dinner cooked by yours truly by request), sang a few Christmas carols and read the Christmas story. My host dad asked me to read something from the Bible and comment on it, so I read what we usually read at home and made a few comments. Nobody seemed too interested.

On Christmas day, we went to church for about 3 hours with the family. The preacher seemed entertaining (people were cracking up), but Dave and didn’t understand anything and I only understood about half.

Jessica, my peace corps friend, came for lunch, which was really fun, especially since I knew it was the last time I’d see her before I left. I bought shortbread to have as a Christmas treat and Dave brought candy canes. For lunch, we had ugali, chicken, chapatis, rice and ugali. (Which I think is a bit ironic – all 3 types of grains, but NO vegetables!)

I feel like I missed Christmas. I think I’ll be ready for it when we get home in February, but it won’t come again for about 10 months. Too bad.

So, I’m not sure what to think of Christmas. It was nice to see how people in another culture celebrate it, but I think I was too ready to go to fully enjoy it. Christmas in Kenya didn’t have all the build-up that it has in America, so I feel like it came and went without me noticing and the day itself didn’t seem much out of the ordinary.

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