Today is the first day I’ve felt “Christmasy” so when I say Merry Christmas, I really mean it! My mom, with the help of many others I’m sure, sent Christmas presents for ALL of the kids here (luckily I’m still considered a kid in her books) and some of my extended family & friends chipped in some money to make a Christmas dinner. Yesterday I went to the market with a few of the older girls & bought food for the dinner & today I sorted through the gifts from my mom & wrapped a present for each child here… yes my fingers are raw! Even with the preparation for the kids I was having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. But, when I passed by Pastor Luc’s house this afternoon I heard Christmas carols playing! Now I can’t stop humming & I doubt I’ll sleep tonight b/c I’m so excited for tomorrow! Christmas is not celebrated by many here, but the ones that do, celebrate it on the 24th. So tomorrow morning I’ll hand out the presents & tomorrow night “nou gen fet!” (we’re having a party!). We’re making macaroni salad, rice & BEEF! And what’s a party without the fizzies!! We have 5 cases of pop in a neighbour’s freezer so pray for power tonight! And because the 25th is when my family celebrates Christmas I’ll open my stocking from my mom (no mom, I haven’t peaked yet) & we’re going to have a mini party in the evening… peanut butter sandwiches, strawberry yogurt (thanks to some UN friends) & hot chocolate!!

I’ll post the Christmas pictures next week but I have some other pictures I want to share. Thanks to some very generous cousins (Anders & Heidi, you’re famous here now!) I’ve been able to buy an evening snack for the kids several times this month. Usually the snack consists of peanut butter sandwiches & “fake” juice… that’s what the kids call juice made from powder. Well last week we made “real” juice. We bought 2 huge bags of fruit in the market – the kids were so excited! We had way too many cooks in the kitchen & our methods were incredibly inefficient but it was a blast! My pictures don’t capture the excitement of the kids so you’ll have to enhance them with your imagination.

The making of the juice:

The drinking of the juice: