Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Five Year Christmas Retrospetive*

* This was inspired by the Arcaro's email. I'm glad thigs are looking white and great in Dilan.

Christmas 2000- Cincinnati, Ohio USA Emory Junior
This was my first Christmas at home without my any of my siblings (Mychelle was on-call, Marya was in Jamaica, Donny and Jamehl were with her parents. Christmas Eve was a Sunday and mom was running around church. Dad was sick. I managed to escape for a few hours to Marya’s house since I had to feed Chaka (her dog). Christmas Day had a really bad start as Mom was still stressed from church and Dad was still a bit sick. That morning, to date, is my most traumatizing Christmas morning (I’m sure I’ll discuss it in therapy one day). Later on we went to Auntie Millie’s house and things got a bit better hanging out with the rest of my family.

Christmas 2001- Kernersville, North Carolina USA Emory Senior
It’s my nephew’s first Christmas and my entire family (save Marya) are gathered for it. We spend a fun Christmas Eve shopping for random things and I find out that when you get married you get someone else’s parents (and your spouse gets yours). We spend Christmas day opening up and playing with all of Daniel’s new gifts while he sits in his bouncy chair and looks on (in mild amusement I think) at our goings on. We listen to the awesome Christmas CD I made and gave to Donny and Jamehl, since we’ve all managed to lose our copy of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” (My gifts were really good that year) I never paid attention to Boxing Day in the States.

Christmas 2002- Ovamboland (Omegee/Ongwadieva), Namibia PCTrainee
After the Omegee/Ompundja crews failed to get approved by PC Namibia Admin to have a holiday breakfast at a nice hotel, we ended up having a Christmas Barbecue (we hadn’t started saying braii yet) at Kelly’s host family’s place (i.e. The Pink Palace). We all sleep on the floor, save Nate and Pat who wanted to be with their host families. We toast Christmas morning with screwdrivers and calls start coming in from family on Kelly’s cell phone. Peace Corps picks us up, except Pat who ends up walking almost the whole way into town (a ½ hour drive). We spend the rest of Christmas at the RDC (read PC training base) getting calls from family and eating good old American food. A virus that was going around our village catches up to me and I spend Boxing Day in bed at the RDC.

Christmas 2003- Ovamboland (Ondangwa/Ongwadieva), Namibia PCV
Christmas Eve was spent with Mia and the family of her friend Carol. Most of the day was spent with her kids, nieces and nephews putting up Christmas decorations and watching Videos on MTV (They had cable). Later on Carol’s brothers showed up one of whom Mia was dating and the other I got to know. We actually ended up heading to a nightclub and dancing a bit. Christmas Day we headed to a braii (barbecue) at a relative’s house. Boxing Day I headed to Lauren’s house to chill, hangout, and discuss our Christmases over the leftover Sangria from her fiesta Christmas.

Christmas 2004- Capetown, South Africa In Transit-PCV
Spent Christmas Eve walking around Capetown harbors and popular areas with Kate, Naima and Chris (random group 22 kid, who kept popping up during the first part of our COS trip. After a random night on our couch in Swabenheim, thanks Kate, and a full week together in Capetown we came to realize he was actually okay). We saw really cool traveling bands, groups like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and drank a fish bowl. Kate was silly and scared other tourist. Christmas Day Kate, Chris and I headed to the beach and felt underdressed (Kate with reason). Played in the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean and watched the mist roll in. We came home for dinner and random activities (read talking, watching bad TV Movies) with Naima. Boxing Day, we had fun exploring an empty Capetown, (which was still kinda scary as we were still bush kids at that point).

Christmas 2005- Kolkata, WB India AIF Fellow
Throwing Kolkata first “Non-Denominational Celebration of Goodwill” on Christmas Eve. Christmas day I’ll be at St. Paul’s for Mass (in a sari). Boxing Day I’ll be working, taking observations at a Youth Fair in the field regions of rural southern West Bengal.

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