Having never spent Christmas away from my friends and family, I expected my first Christmas in Mozambique to be at least a little lackluster. I think partially due to the fact that it is 100 degrees everyday its been kind of hard to get into the Christmas spirit, although a Christmas care package filled with Christmas decorations from my mom and grandma did help. It also helped that seven other volunteers in Nampula came to our house for a Christmas celebration. Keeping busy with preparing the house and creating a menu for nine people for five days without a refrigerator also helped me stay busy and avoid feeling sad that I wasn’t home.
There’s really not a whole lot to do in our decisively rural town, so our days were passed by playing a lot of card games, going to our district capital of Monapo, hanging out with our host families, and even visiting the one local bar that is owned by a woman and not overrun with town drunks that Kathryn and I have been waiting to try since we met the dona last week. Food preparation also took up a lot of our time, and having a packed kitchen with everyone helping to cook made it feel just like the holiday season at home.
By far my favorite part of having everyone over for Christmas was the excuse to splurge and buy meat and cook big dinners that Kathryn and I usually wouldn’t cook for just the two of us. We had chicken and dumplings, lentil burgers, grilled pork, mac n cheese, pancakes, fruit salad, fried bananas. I almost felt sick after Christmas dinner from all the amazing food, I don’t think my body is used to getting so much nutrition.