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A Year Without Ice Cubes One year through Africa and Asia

Merry Christmas...Kenya Style!

KENYA | Wednesday, 24 December 2008 | Views [907] | Comments [1]

Merry Christmas! And Happy Hanukkah to others, and Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us to the rest of us, and etc., etc. But basically, Happy Holidays! Allow me to fill you in on what goes on in Eldoret, Kenya during this time of the year...well, it's hot and sunny and the streets are busy and there are a few Christmas decorations up and the occasional Santa, but to me it just doesn't feel like Christmas. I've realized this is also the first Christmas I've ever spent away from my family...took me 26 years, but I guess I've finally left the nest. So it would seem that Christmas for me means cold and snow and home... We had some festivities at the hospital last week, though, which was really nice. I went around with the staff of the Sally Test Center singing Christmas carols (including a verse of Silent Night in Kiswahili…damn I'm good...), passing out juice and cookies, and giving kids presents. Then on Friday Michelle joined us for a Christmas party at the center complete with streamers, balloons, ribbons, and a Christmas tree decorated with the kids' crafts. More Christmas carols, more juice and cookies, and more presents. I think the best part of the day for me was picking up the kids from Ward 5 to take them to the party. Ward 5 is for the most seriously injured, broken bones, burns, etc. There are four kids from Ward 5 who are regulars at Sally Test, and they are arguably the four sweetest kids at the hospital. I won't go into detail about their lives now, but their histories range from normal accidents kids have to being victims of post-election violence last year and losing their entire family. Well, the Christmas party was supposed to start at 2 pm, and around 2 pm we realized that none of the kids from Ward 5 were there. So Helen(one of the staff), Michelle and I walked over to Ward 5 looking for them...and as soon as we turned the corner for the ward, Lilly, Flora, Miriam, and Brian all came running up to us, smiling and excited, hugging us and grabbing our hands. Apparently they'd been waiting all day for someone to bring them over to Sally Test! The joy in these kids' faces is always so amazing and heart-warming, and that's what the holidays are all about, right? Okay, I hope this super slow internet actually manages to upload this blog entry…tomorrow Michelle and I are going to our friend Lucy's village for actual Christmas, a 7 hour bus ride from Eldoret, where we will be hanging out with her entire extended family for a few days and slaughtering many animals and doing traditional Kikuyu stuff...I'll fill you in on the details when we get back, but we're both very very excited and it's sure to be a different kind of Christmas then I've ever experienced before. So, in closing I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah and etc etc), and thanks again for keeping up with my travels. When I first started this blog I wasn’t terribly excited about it, but it has been such a source of support and love for me, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, thank you so much for all the comments, I love hearing from everyone and I really appreciate you all reaching out to me. So, lots of love from Kenya and have a happy happy holiday.

Comments

1

There is nothing like experiencing joy in children's eyes. It is so fleeting since kids grow up but the nice thing is there is always a new crop of them. We have a friend who is building a home almost next door and she has been a sailor and adventurer since the 60's. She has been everywhere including Botswana and other parts of Africa. She admires your spunk.

  Zen House Jan 10, 2009 5:21 AM

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