Tuesday, 29 December 2015

It's Christmas (not) in Canada

Well, a big Merry Belated Christmas, Happy Belated Hanukah and/or whatever else you may or may not be celebrating at this time of year. This year it seems as though none of those fit for me, as I’ve had anything but a traditional Christmas. But, before you get concerned, it was a great one!

December 24th in Kampala... no sign of snow...
A few days before Christmas, fellow IYIP intern, Rachel, arrived from Kenya. We spent the next few days catching up and going on a few adventures – such as the Kasubi Tombs. This is where we learned that if the King of Buganda (the subnational kingdom in which Kampala is situated), sets his sights on me, I would be come one of his growing number of wives… even if I were married back home! Rachel and I also couldn't enter the drum house, because women apparently distract them, and the king does not like that...

The reconstruction of Kasubi Tombs 

The Tombs were designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. It houses the remains of four of the previous Kings of Buganda. Unfortunately, in March of 2010, the site was the victim of arson and much of the property – and historical artefacts – were destroyed.

Photo Credit: Aaron Wolf
On Christmas Eve, we made a Christmas spaghetti and then settled in for a longstanding Kennedy tradition of watching A Christmas Story before bed. I was surprised that Aaron hadn’t seen it before, but was delighted that he enjoyed it as much as I always have. If you haven’t seen this classic film, do yourself a favour and give it a view!

Christmas Day was perfect. Even though I woke up way too early, it began with a nice cup of coffee, a good breakfast, and a quiet morning. Then the work/fun began – we attempted to make a traditional Canadian Christmas dinner. And, aside from the lack of cranberry sauce, and me forgetting to make the stuffing, it was a successful mission. We ended up with a delicious feed of roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin, beans and carrots! It was awesome! We even had a surprise visitor and got dressed up* and had a semi-photo shoot before the afternoon and evening of calls home began.

Christmas dinner
Photo Credit: Aaron Wolf

Comparing and nursing our food babies!
Photo Credit: Aaron Wolf
FAMILY PHOTO: Jasper (our building security dude, and
probably one of the most delightful humans ever!), Aaron and myself
Photo Credit: Aaron Wolf
It was an unusual Christmas Day, but it was a great one. All three of us were experiencing our first Christmas away from home. I have to admit that it was nowhere near as difficult as I had anticipated it being. And even though there was no snow, Christmas tree, or spending time with family back home, I couldn’t be happier to have spent the first one away from home with these two!

On Boxing Day, Rachel and I went for a little walk. We pretty much Muzungo-ed it, and ended up near the Catholic Cathedral. We also snagged a picture with the Teletubbies, and Mickey was a real bugger and kicked me in my naughty place when I tried to head butt the ball away from him. He's a real jerk, that Mickey! 

A view of the city. Note how epic the National Mosque is.
I feel so fortunate to call this city home! 
The Cathedral 
Rachel and the Teletubbies
Mickey and I playing some football. One of us is a poor sport...just look at that grin.
Of course, I didn't bother putting on my usual 10cm layer of sunscreen, so I will be entering the New Year a little more crispy than I'd intended. But, don't be alarmed - it looks far worse than it feels!

The Great Boxing Day Burn of 2015!
Happy Holidays once again!

-the Orange Canadian

*The visitor and dressing up are completely unrelated. 

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