My Christmas Celebrations….

December 23, 2008 Day Off

We decided to take the day off today because no one was working and we decided to go to downtown Cape Town to explore this really cool store we had seen on the internet.  We made our way downtown and went to this African store where everything in it is made from people in Africa and there were lots of cool items.  There was this HUGE HIPPO made out

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and let me tell you I so wanted to take it home with me but there is no way I could fit it in the suitcase when the time comes for me to leave.  I would have to carry it on the plane so I did not buy it I just kept picking it up and holding it!  Then we found this bookstore and decided to go in and take a look around.  I immediately went downstairs to the children's section and just took a seat and started looking at books.  I found a great book about when apartheid ended and so of course I had to get it to add to my collection of books!  I enjoyed just sitting in the store and looking at all of the books.  Then we needed to go to the store to get ingredients to make the things for Christmas Day.  There were so many people at the store it was more stressful that anything so I am glad we only really had to go to two stores!  We then came home and ate dinner and watched a movie and just relaxed!

 

December 24, 2008 Feliz Navidad

We got up this morning and Ryan decided to cook breakfast for us and he made Breakfast Enchiladas.  It was wonderful then we just sat and watched D3 The Mighty Ducks.  There really have not been a lot of Christmas movies on here.  Then we got ready and Ryan, Lynn, and I went over to Pat's house(Pat is an American volunteer that has lived here for almost three years and she works with Living Hope as well).  We decided to have a Mexican themed Christmas Eve!  I had been saving stuff to make rotel so I made that and we were going to have tacos.  We ate so much we did truly make ourselves sick.  We watched The Polar Express, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Grinch.  It was such a fun afternoon of nothing but sitting and relaxing and eating. 

 

December 25, 2008 Merry Christmas to All!

This morning got up with just enough time to finish making a pumpkin dessert that I was taking for our Christmas dinner and then it was time to go to church.  Lynn, Ryan, and I went to Capricorn Church that meets in the container at Capricorn.  The children were doing a music program about the true meaning of Christmas.  The kids did such a great job….they sang, danced, and acted so well!  It was a really good service and then it was time to get in the car and go to Jakes aunt's house for lunch.  We drove there and got there and Jakes and her family was not there yet so we first met two aunts, an uncle, and cousins.  Everyone was so nice to us….it was finally starting to feel like Christmas.  After Jakes and her family got there we all gathered together and had a Christmas devotional that Jakes uncle did for us.  Then it was time to eat and we sat outside in their backyard that had a pool and garden in it and they had a long table set up with place settings for each of us.  At our seat we had a crown to wear and a Christmas cracker to open.  The Christmas is a tube thing that you pull at both ends and it pops and out comes a small toy usually something you could get out of a vending machine.  We ate and ate and ate.  There were all kinds of meats for us and just a huge spread of lots of things.  Everyone was very interested as to how we all celebrate Christmas day and what kinds of food we eat and traditions we have.  After we ate we all sat around and talked which seems to be the same thing in any country to just sit around and talk.  Then I played a game with Jakes and two of her sisters.  We ate some pie after that and just visited for a little longer.

Then we drove home and Ryan, Lynn, and I decided that we all wanted to go to the beach to see the sunset. But first we decided we needed to open our gifts that  were under the tree.  I opened some things that mom and dad had sent a while ago and then they also sent a padded envelope that I opened.  So that really also helped make it feel like it was Christmas.  They decided to walk down the beach to this area that has some debris from a shipwreck that happened a long time ago. I decided to sit on the beach and listen to my iPod and watch the sunset.  I just sat on the beach and sang Christmas carols and watched the sunset!  It was so neat to have that opportunity.  The water was freezing so there was no swimming in fact it was too cold to even keep my feet in for a long time.  Then I came back to the Team House and of course called the family and talked to them for a while.  It really has been interesting to be away from everyone on Christmas.  I thought I would be very sad and just crying a lot during Christmas but here it really does not feel like Christmas and that I think is helpful in not fully realizing that I am gone. 

December 26, 2008  Happy Boxing Day

Apparently here in South Africa people celebrate this holiday by going to the beach.  We decided to celebrate it by going to Stellenbosch and going to some gardens and things up there.  Ryan, Lynn, SImba, and I ventured out for the day.  We went to this one place that had the most beautiful garden I have ever seen.  It was so lovely!  We took lots of pictures and just did some exploring and that was quite fun!  At the second farm we went to there was a cow about to give birth to a baby and we got to see the cow being moved to the barn to be able to have her baby. 

We then went to this Goat Farm called Fairview and we tasted all kinds of cheeses and that was really fun.  I was the most excited about tasting cheese….we tried about 8 different kinds of cheese and it was so yummy!!    We drove home and now are just relaxing and I am catching up on emails and updating the blog.  There is talk of watching a Christmas movie tonight and I would be up for that!  I know such a big social butterfly!

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