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“Mummy can we have a Christmas tree?”
Struggling to think of where we can find a Christmas tree we explain that we will try, but we may have to settle for the paper one we have made.
We have some “Birthday” bunting up in our flat as Christmas decoration, Lucas explains to any visitors that it is for “Baby Jesus’ Birthday”. Apparently baby Jesus is coming to our house on Christmas eve with Father Christmas…
Pointing at the fabric nativity scene on our wall, Lucas questions “What’s those men doing with frankincense and burr?” “Frankincense seems such a big word for a 2 ½ year old, this time last Christmas he was just babbling….
“Mummy, this a present for Redempta and Jedidha and Richard and Joel and Sam….” he continues to list the team as we pack the white boxes with chocolate cupcakes with a frequent enquiry, “Mummy and one for me?”
We arrive home after the Eye Team Christmas BBQ, Lucas has given out all the bread, bagels, cupcakes and cards he made. “Mummy can we watch the three bears? Can we have a blanket? Can I hold my cake?” We sit either side of Lucas whilst he grips his chocolate cupcake and delicately picks and licks the icing away whilst watching Santa and the Three Bears from 1970.
We ask Lucas what we could put on top of the Christmas tree if we find one. “A star mummy, a star. Its a big star next to the moon in the sky, where are the tractors in Bethlehem?”
For the last two weeks, every morning, Lucas has asked, “Are Nona and Gido (Andrew’s Mum and Dad) coming today?” We explain it is a few days away yet. “They coming in a big airplane, they in the airplane now?” In a few more sleeps we reassure him… “No Nona and Gido come now! Nona and Gido see a tractor at the airport?”_________________
As we search for the peace at Christmas, in a world so different to the comforts we know as home, the knitted pattern of our English culture becomes unsewn and we find ourselves questioning more how do we want to celebrate Christmas? The passing waves of homesickness are momentarily soothed by watching “‘Love Actually'” and the smell of mulled wine and the hope of finding a Christmas tree (or suitable sized rosemary branch).
As much as we miss England at Christmas, there have been moments here that have left us speechless, moments that remind us what Christmas is really about. Since moving to Nakuru, we have grown close to a Kenyan lady who has six children and we’ve seen first hand how hard life is for her and her children. They live in a shared room without electricity and often without water, there are school fees to pay and many mouths to feed, yet, she never complains, when times are tough, she just works harder, ensuring her kids are fed and educated. This same person visited us this week, not to ask for anything, but to say thank you. Thank you for being her friend and what is more, she gave us a gift, an amazing box of home-grown vegetables sufficient to feed her family several meals. We were left with a lump in our throats and completely humbled by her generosity.
We are very thankful to be spending this Christmas with family in Kenya: Nona, Gido, Auntie Kat, each other and Skype to the rest of our families elsewhere in the world!
For now, Merry Christmas and every blessing for the new year x
The baking madness for the team’s christmas present begins…
90 bagels, 80 cupcakes, 16 Loaves of bread, one night…
How does she do it?
The team enjoying our Christmas BBQ
The final village of 2013 (73 down, 27 to go) shortly before Christmas, was also a celebration of two of the teams birthday and was celebrated with a Marmalade Cake
Recipe – Marmalade cake
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons chunky marmelade
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons marmelade
100g icing sugar
2 tablespoons warm water
- Pre-heat oven to 180ºC.
- Beat the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the eggs beating well after each addition with a little flour on the last addition.
- Sift the remaining flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and fold into the mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into a prepared tin with baking parchment, bake for 50 mins until golden brown and firm to touch.
- Gently warm the marmalade for the icing and spread over the top of the cake. Leave to cool.
- When completely cool mix the icing sugar with the water and concentrically drizzle over the top of the cake.