Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Wrap Up

How was your Christmas this year? While I'm still getting used to spending holidays away from extended family, I can say that our Christmas 2010 season was quite happy.

The festivities began on Christmas Eve with a barbecue. Two of our friends, Jo and Andrea, were visiting us from Mbeya, so we had the privilege of sharing the meal with them. Paul is getting really good at grilling over charcoal. It was delicious!

After our Christmas Eve feast, we snuggled up in the living room to watch a Christmas movie with the kids.

On Christmas morning, we had grand plans to enjoy a Christmas breakfast of eggs and homemade cinnamon rolls, but the electricity company nearly foiled those plans. Just after we put the rolls in the oven, the power went out. We do have a generator on our compound (for which we're extremely grateful), but 6am just too early for the loud noise it makes. So, thinking quick, we all piled in the truck and drove over to the office to make our breakfast (the office has access to a generator that keeps computer servers going, so it comes on automatically whenever the power goes out).
Thankfully, just as the cinnamon rolls were finishing, the power came back on and we were able to return home and still enjoy a nice breakfast.

After breakfast, we let the kids look in their stockings. At the bottom of Josiah's was a clue. They were about to start a gift hunt.
We sent them around the house and the compound looking for clues.
With his newly-acquired reading skills, Josiah got to be the designated reader.
We even got our guard involved.
At the end of it all, they found their Christmas gifts - bicycles! Thankfully, it was a lovely, sunny day, so they could take them right outside and give them a try.
In the afternoon, we joined a group of friends for a delicious Christmas dinner, then we returned home and got the opportunity to Skype with both sets of our parents.

It was a good day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Party

Over the weekend, Josiah and Anna were able to take part in a Christmas party for the kids on our housing compound. Five of us moms worked together to put on the party, and everyone had a great time.

We had a craft, games, food, and even a visit from Santa Claus/Father Christmas (depending on what culture you're from and what you call him).

Josiah making a Christmas card:
Anna running back to her team in the clothing race relay:
Santa/Father Christmas arrives:
(A lot of us thought he looked more like a kindly, old bishop than Santa, but the borrowed costume was all we could find. The kids didn't mind.)
All the girls received "Barbie" dolls that Paul found during his recent trip to Dar es Salaam:
All the boys received a package of racing cars:
I think the packaging from Josiah's gift describes the day best:
It was a wonderful, memory-making day for our kids.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Frogs Can Bite?

I never knew there were biting frogs out there. Sure, I knew some of them excrete poison, but I never thought about frogs having teeth.

Well, I was grossly misinformed. This big guy definitely has teeth.

The kids discovered this frog hopping around our compound yesterday afternoon. Rainy season is just beginning here in Dodoma, so he was out feasting on the flying ants that emerge after the first rains. After being warned not to touch the frog, Anna's curiosity must have gotten the better of her because not 10 minutes later, she ran in the house screaming, blood dripping down her hand.

We talked to our guard, and he told us these frogs aren't poisonous but that Tanzanians know to leave them alone. We now understand why.

Thankfully, a Dora Band-Aid seems to fix everything.