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The weather may be warmer and the stores are not commercializing Christmas, but we still are celebrating the Christmas season in our home. There were not any Christmas trees for sale, so we have decorated a small evergreen tree we had growing on our veranda. It looks like a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree.
Suzanna wore a traditional tribal Christmas skirt she received from the Bawm tribe.
Winter is the time of year for weddings in this country. Families overspend on decorations and the ceremony. Many wedding ceremonies last for four days. Even the buildings and roads around the wedding location are adorned with millions of lights.
Christmas Eve Dinner
We are blessed to have staff to cook, drive, handle errands and assist with our language studies. Most have never tasted traditional American holiday foods. This year we decided to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner for our staff and their families on Christmas Eve, as well as one national family who are friends.
Turkeys are priced as if they are made of gold, so we settled for four chickens. Buying chickens is a unique experience. You select live chickens at the market. They are killed and plucked in less than 30 minutes, so they are very fresh. They even come with the head, feet, and other organs that Penny enjoys eating!
Many foods are not readily available in this country, so we purchased some in advance and relied on friends to bring or send additional items. The Christmas dinner menu included:
• Chickens (baked – something the nationals have not eaten, because kitchens usually have no ovens; everything is fried)
• Cranberry sauce
• Mashed potatoes
• Sweet potato casserole (using pumpkin)
• Jell-O salad
• Strawberry cake (birthday cake for Jesus)
Cleanup after the dinner is certainly more work. There is no automatic dishwasher and to get hot water for the dishes, it must be boiled on the stove.
Some of our guests were so eager that they arrived hours early, so we put them to work on a jigsaw puzzle that we had recently received from America.
The local taxi and CNG drivers were holding elections this week. Election posters were everywhere.
We attended a Christmas party at a local restaurant. Of course they had a Santa Claus, but he looked a little different from the typical American ones.
Our family (including Penny) wants to wish our family and friends a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year!