First off, I’m so thankful this week was better than last week, and that it was non-eventful in the break-in department!!
I’m so happy to be able to share the GOOD this week, I mean it was Christmas after all, and I am so thankful for the “family” I have here, and my first Tanzanian Christmas!
While there are many differences between the typical American Christmas and a Tanzanian Christmas, the root of it remains the same…Christmas in both countries is about joy, celebration, gratitude and of course spending time with family and loved ones… and EATING…a lot! Haha! Except this year it was African style eating…freshly slaughtered goat, rice pilau, cooked bananas, mixed greens, kuku (chicken), salad, and fruit. We did add in a little American flair with some frosted cut-out sugar cookies, and my all time fav, chocolate covered pretzels! 🙂
I can’t deny that I was a little sad to be missing Ella’s first Christmas, and spending time with my family on Christmas Day. It was the first year I haven’t been home with my family to celebrate Christmas. God has a way of providing though, and he sure did provide me with an amazing group of people to celebrate with. Joel and I spent Christmas Eve at a family friend’s house, along with Joel’s brother, sister in law, their kids and Joel’s younger sister. It was wonderful – we hung out, ate, and opened presents. Everyone was so generous and so welcoming to me!
On Christmas Day, we went to Joel’s parent’s house. They still live in the local Chagga village where Joel grew up. It is always such an experience to go there and see first-hand the life Joel lived as a child, and the life that is still lived by many families. It is a beautiful place, so green and lush, with banana trees as far as you can see. Tucked away in the trees, along the side of the mountain is where their homes are nestled in, perfectly equipped with the essentials a covered roof, water, animals, and gardens. Life is simple there, people are happy, and the sense of family and community is everywhere! We made the rounds, visiting both Bibi’s, Babu, Mama, Baba, several uncles, aunts, cousins, and many other friendly neighbors.. all serving us food (some, more forcefully than others, haha.. Joel’s grandmother (Bibi) was INCESSANT on me eating with her!) and welcoming us into their homes! Overall, it was a beautiful day, and fun to experience Christmas in a totally new and unique way!
I hope you are all able to find many things to be thankful for this season!! I pray you all had a great Christmas, and were able to enjoy time with your loved ones!
Merry Christmas to all my loves, may the joy of Christ fill your heart during this Christmas season, and throughout this next year!