Our Holidays in East Africa

Happy New Year!

Although the holiday season is always the time of the year when I feel the most homesick, we had a really nice time celebrating the holidays this year in Uganda and Kenya.


Our delicious Thanksgiving turkeys



In October, we had a meeting in Soroti in the eastern part of the country and I was thrilled to discover live turkeys being sold on the side of the road – we bought two of them and I was VERY excited about this purchase since we haven’t had turkey for Thanksgiving since we moved to Uganda.  Turkeys are not very common here, and around November people hike the prices considerably in Kampala because they know there are lots of Americans looking to buy turkeys.



So we kept the turkeys in our compound until Thanksgiving (and I learned that turkeys can fly, since on the first day they both flew over our fence and ended up in our neighbor’s yard!) and invited the MCC Uganda staff to our house for Thanksgiving lunch.  None of our Ugandan colleagues had celebrated an American Thanksgiving before, and it was really fun to introduce them to some new foods and share the holiday with them.


Daniel and Vicky, our MCC colleagues, going back for seconds – we forgot to take a picture of all the food before people started eating it!



After Thanksgiving lunch we had choir practice to get ready to lead worship for one of the sessions at our MCC retreat – you can see Natalie and Nathan are playing their guitars too!



Nathan jamming on his “guitar”



We were able to do some of our American Christmas traditions, like making spritz, Christmas cookies that my family makes every year




In mid December, we traveled to a retreat center just outside of Nairobi for our binannual MCC East Africa retreat for all of our staff, volunteers, and their families.  We had 22 people traveling from Uganda, and overall we had over 100 MCCers at the retreat, including 30 children under the age of 12.  We had devotions, worship, team building, a field trip, a night of entertainment by a Kenyan a capella group, and more.  It was a really fun to connect with our colleagues and relax, and our kids had a great time as well.


Enjoying a boat ride during our field trip to Paradise Lost


After the retreat, we stayed in Kenya for another week to celebrate Christmas with Muigai’s family.  We spent Christmas day at Muigai’s sister Njeri’s house with his mother and all of his siblings and their families, eating some delicious goat meat that Njeri had brought from Northern Kenya and relaxing, and Natalie and Nathan had a great time playing with their Kenyan cousins.  We also had the chance to catch up with some friends while we were in Kenya and to do some outings with the children, and get some much needed rest after a very busy November and December. (our camera broke right before we left for Kenya so I have very few pictures)


Feeding giraffes at the Giraffe Center in Nairobi


We returned to Uganda before the new year and had a pretty “wild” new year’s eve with sparkling grape juice and a movie, and both Muigai and I just barely made it to midnight!  I guess those are the effects of being nearly 6 months pregnant on New Year’s Eve (and Muigai had just traveled back from Kenya that day so he was also quite tired)….maybe one day we will have exciting New Year’s celebrations again when our kids are a bit older.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year as well!


Happy New Year!



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