Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2015

We have had a busy few days before and after Christmas.  We hope all of you had a great celebration of the birth of Jesus and that 2015 will be a great year for you and us!

We went on 3 days of safari with our visitors from the University of Washington Physical Therapy team on the 19-21of December.  We enjoyed some very close encounters with elephants and saw a lot of other animals.  We had a great time and saw them off for home on the 22nd of December.  Major and I drove straight home after sending them off at the airport and got home at 1:15 a.m. in time to be up by 5 a.m. and planning of our staff Christmas party and a busy day at work since the 22nd was a holiday here.

On the 24th we worked half a day and then started our staff party with about 80 of our staff attending.  It rained on and off during the party, but everyone had fun.  We served a lunch of beef and rice and coleslaw and cake.  Everyone ate until they were overfull.  We then played some games, danced and then they were given a bag of flour, sugar, rice, oil, soap, and drink mix.  The staff were so appreciative since no one got paid until after Christmas and so this was their Christmas food for their families.

That night we were to have a candlelight service at the hospital where we read scripture and sing carols in Shona.  We had not had any electricity for 9 days and it came back at 6 p.m. that night so we decided to have no candlelight (we had been doing that for real for the past 9 days) and had full lights on!  It was a nice service and about 60 people came and we did it in the courtyard of the hospital so that the in-patients and their caregivers could hear it.  It also was nice to look up at the stars and think of Jesus born so many years ago under the same sky.

After the candlelight service the Mereki family came over for opening gifts and Christmas cookies and ice cream!  We finished after 11 p.m. and we were up early to get ready for church at the hospital at 9 a.m.  After the church service we provided tea and bread for all who came.  Our hospital patients and waiting mothers really enjoyed this as they can't go home to celebrate with their families.

We then came home and packed up to go to Batanai village to celebrate Christmas with the Mereki family.  I was able to stay in my new house in the village for the first time.  We ended up with over 30 adults and 15 kids for the next 4 days of Christmas celebrations.  We ate a lot, danced and sang and had many visitors that dropped by.  Everyone helped in getting water, firewood, cooking and doing dishes and serving.  Teresa, Major's cousin who works in catering was in charge of all the food and it was fantastic, every meal.

I enjoyed the new house and kitchen and just sat around and read, played games with the kids and took a lot of naps.  It was wonderful.

Then on Saturday evening we had invited the Batanai church for an all night church service to dedicate my house.  It started with dinner and we had over 250 people for dinner!  The band and people kept going all night.  I went to bed about midnight, but the singing and preaching continued all night. It turned out that several churches from the area came and most of the community around.   This morning we ended with communion and a sermon and ended with a prayer circle around the house and kitchen to dedicate it to the Lord.  During the service many people spoke to welcome me to the community and thank me for my work at Chidamoyo Hospital.  It was so nice.  We then had tea and breakfast for the group.

We then packed up and came home to Chidamoyo to nap and do laundry and back to work tomorrow.  What a wonderful Christmas we had and we all enjoyed it so much.

 Elephant up close!

Lion resting

Group on boat safari


Christmas Lunch for staff

Major in Afro wig and myself in Green wig for staff Christmas party


Serving Major at Christmas party

 Christmas Day with Mereki family

Teresa and Crew serving dinner on Christmas Day

Mereki family that came to Batanai for Christmas


Eating Christmas dinner

 Cooking for church dinner

Eating dinner with church people at the village

 Church service on Saturday night

Carolyn Mereki and her cousins singing special music for the church meeting

Eating breakfast this morning



Dancing at church this morning






Standing in front of my new house with Mai Munemo and Mai Ruvando and her granddaughter






1 comment:

  1. new house in batanai? I hear nothing scares the Batanai village. If you tried to scare them....they wouldn't even batanai. I tried to find both chid/batanai on google maps to no avail. Send pics of the house. Are you moving there full time? sounded like a great party. Now I'm craving sudza and kapenta with greens and tomatoes. I think Major should wear that wig forever whenever he's awake, maybe even a bigger one. it rules.

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