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Published: December 30th 2009
It’s typical that the first year for ages that it snows properly I would be away. Here as you can probably guess, it has not been snowing, hot and sunny in the mornings then massive storms for an hour or two in the afternoon, even the nights are still warm (and filled with mosquitoes). For me, weird weather for Christmas.
In the week or so before Christmas I’ve been receiving parcels from home, I get so excited when I get the slip from the post office telling me I have mail, it’s great. I’m finding that although it’s awesome getting presents and food from home, what I love more is the letters and photos that also come (although the selection box was very well received). The Wednesday the week before I also sent a few parcels with FedEx for home, just with a few random little gifts that I hope people will like, though because of cost I doubt I’ll be sending anything else, I’ll just buy presents for everyone in June and carry them home.
At work we had a Christmas party the Friday before Christmas, members from the PHC and HBC projects, brigade members and one or two of the council members where invited. Speeches were made, songs where sung, refreshments eaten and drank, and presents given out to everyone (bags of rice, sugar, and salt we had spent the day before preparing). I had to leave before the end to do a job in Blantyre but it seemed to go well. At one point there was an idea to try and hire out a coach and go to the Sun and Sand Resort by the lake, however when we looked into it, this proved to be too expensive to be viable as a fundraising activity so was dropped.
I spent most of the 24th in the Dee and Tee lodge in Limbe where I have been staying, but in the evening I went by bus to the Mount Pleasant CCAP church, where I had going with the Kumdana’s while I was staying with them. There was a prayer evening starting at around 8pm and continuing until midnight, with singing, readings and other performances. Because the prayers at Mount Pleasant continued until late, the minibus service had stopped running and I couldn’t get back to the lodge in Limbe, luckily Mr and Mrs Kumdana offered me a bed for the night, which I took them up on.
I had planned on going to Limbe (Catholic) Cathedral the morning of Christmas day, but as I was in Napari I attended the Catholic Church at CI before travelling back to the lodge where I had breakfast and opened the presents I had received from family at home. I left the lodge to try and find an internet cafe to call home, everywhere was closed so after an hour and a half of looking first in Limbe, then in Blantyre, I ended up in Doogles, a backpacker’s lodge where expats are supposed to hang out. Despite the computer I was on continually cutting out due to a busted fan, I managed to speak to people; it was great to see some Christmas photos. It was the owner of the lodge, Mrs Nthala’s birthday, so when I got back we had some cake and pulled the few crackers I had (a make your own cracker set sent from home). Daryl, TK, and Ian, Mrs Nthala’s sons were going out and offered me the chance to go with them. I had a really good time, first at a house then later on to a club in Blantyre.
My first Christmas away has been interesting and different though saying that I’ll probably be glad to spend it with family next year. I hope you all have had a very merry Christmas and I wish you a happy new year for Thursday.
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