Christmas eve was a day of visiting, gift sharing, and adventures in candlelight. After hearing so much about Mado's family, she brought along her husband and two youngest children, Emmanuel and Lidia, to visit with us. They were eager to meet the twins and visit with the people their mother has been spending so much time with! They also came with gifts for us.
Lidia cooked up some special chicken and manioc greens and brought along the casava and corn flour to show me how to make fufu. Suzanne, the woman who does weekly housecleaning for Suzanne and Tim, was also with us that day and she quickly stepped in to help out with the fufu lesson. After that, we all ate together and then opened up small gifts rummaged together from our luggage and wrapped up in some cloth scraps I found in the upstairs closet.
After everyone left, David and I and the kids had a nice dinner by candle light. [I must add that Kendra had gathered a variety of odds and ends to mark the season. A small, planted tree was brought in from the front stoop and decorated with a few ornaments we found tucked away in my parents closets along with little plastic scoops from the many jars of baby formula we have been going through this season. The tree was topped off with the two angels gifted to us by Southside Fellowship; we felt our home congregation watching over us this holiday season.
Fresh flowers also made their way from the stand just outside our compound to appear here and there around the house. Glittering stars are now permanently taped to my parents' walls and a beautiful wooden creche appeared from somewhere.]
A huge storm came through as we ate our Christmas Eve dinner and we lost our electricity. This is not uncommon, but, when the power came back on we had electricity on the second story but not on the ground floor - David runs around in the rain flipping circuits and trying to find someone who might be able to help. We then decide to let it go for the night and move our baby operation upstairs- which included carrying the small fridge up the steep concrete stairs. We nestled in up there on Christmas Eve, the four of us, each drifting in and out of our irregular but peaceful slumber.
Christmas day brought two rested and mercifully calm and cuddly young ones. A leisurely morning-into-noon culminated in an improvised upstairs dinner. Due to the very mysterious circumstances that cut our electricity off, we enjoyed an amazing raw food dinner complete with fresh avacado, green pepper, tomato and mango served up with some french bread. Later that evening after discussing the import of first Christmases with Likabo and Kitoko and tucking them away for another nap, Kendra pulled out a secret stash of cookies and we sat quietly and contemplated it all...