The end of the month turned into a very fun holiday. I took the long approach to settling back in at home, unpacking and cleaning up my house after being away. I finally caved and hired someone to do my laundry. Why didn’t I do this before?! My clothes havent been this clean in 6 months, at least not since I last used a washing machine. It will make things easier for the rest of my time here, and I will always have clean clothes, not partially clean. BUT let me clarify. I still do everything else, I just had to surrender I am not very good at washing my clothes by hand. At all.
I pushed my Xmas trip to Kisumu to the Saturday before the holiday, best avoiding the holiday rush and traffic. I am so glad I did. I started my day at Mega City Center gathering supplies and was warmly greeted by the echo of holiday music in the air; it didn’t bother me like it would back home, I actually quite enjoyed it (I discovered I was able to use my local bank card in lieu of cash, which will make future shopping trips much easier to coordinate). After, I had some time to kill so I went to the little coffee stand in the mall to indulge in a little breakfast.
I splurged, both on my diet and bank account, on an orange muffin and ICED mocha. The coffee was a decadent reminder of Starbucks, creamy and just a hint of sweet with bold notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Did I mention the ice? It wasn’t just a cold or slightly cold mocha, it was perfectly chilled over ice. I later meandered to the new theater upstairs, determined to continue my American holiday in Kenya.
The entrance is through a quaint African art gallery. Suddenly, you are transported back to America with a full concession stand radiating smells to tantalize the olfactory senses..fresh buttered popcorn and that smell only movie theaters have. The cinema was very modern and classy, huge screen, large comfy chairs, and very clean. I watched Frozen as an ode to the holiday and was pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was. By the end of the morning I was already floating on bliss and it carried me into the afternoon.
I met with a fellow PCV and dined on authentic Ethiopian cuisine at a tucked away restaurant in the city. A hidden gem of delicious food to enjoy in a garden oasis. Reasonably priced and complimented by a cold beer. The end to the perfect holiday. I arrived home and didn’t even care my house was a wreck from avoiding my cleaning duties for the day. I was so unbelievably happy. It only took one day, one little taste of home, and it gave me the best holiday gift of all.
The actual holiday turned out well. I spent the day at the orphanage, sharing holiday crafts, eating nyama choma, and gifting the kids with holiday movies, hot cocoa, and popcorn. They really enjoyed everything and I am glad I could spread some peace on earth after my fun-filled holiday retreat. Another bonus, I got presents! Two for me from my mom, and one for little Dodger from Petco. I splurged and picked up a little fake tree and twinkle holly berry lights to put the gifts under and waited till Christmas to open them. Although not an avid supporter of holidays, having a little of home is always nice in a foreign place, and for the true meaning of the season it served a purpose by providing a warm, fuzzy feeling of closeness to home and people back home.
The end of the month left little to report. Enjoying a slow work load due to the holiday and planning for projects in the new year. The next three months I am looking to fill with projects…like Young Farmers value additions, HIV/AIDS health days, marketing for Grow Strong, preparing my own little garden for the long rains, working with volunteers at the orphanage, and helping groups with IGAs.
I think it is a good start to the new year! Followed by my trip to Ethiopia in April, my 1 year anniversary with PC will be here before I know it. For now. It is the end of 2013 and it has been nothing short of an amazing, crazy year! I am posting this a little early since I will have a special post about the New Year. So 6 months already and 21.5 to go..or 800 days in PC and 592 to go. It has just begun.