Christmas has been slightly different for us this year.
A couple of months ago, Abigail asked when the snow was coming so that she knew it was going to be Christmas. I had to break the news to her that this year there most probably wouldn't be any snow for us! It's funny what you get used to. All Abigail's short life, Christmas and snow have come hand-in-hand ... in Ohio and even last year in England.
Even though in the UK we're not often guaranteed snow, it doesn't help the wishful thinking for the idyllic cosy Christmas, all wrapped up! We're used to hearing songs like 'Frosty the Snowman' and watching movies like 'White Christmas' (I'm watching it right now as I write!) but a British Christmas usually consists of grey skies and rain ... this year rather too much rain!
For lots of our friends here, the hot sunny Tanzanian Christmas doesn't seem all that different from what they are used to back in Australia and New Zealand and they can't imagine the cold snowy Christmas that I find myself dreaming of!
Christmas here in Tanzania falls in the rainy season, although to be fair the rains have been few and far between so far this year. The average temperature is about 32 (90) degrees. And waiting for the rains, the intensity and humidity is well ... intense!
To make it feel like Christmas, we have been playing Christmas songs, eating the traditional foods, pulling Christmas crackers, the list goes on! Yesterday we went one step further. Before we left the States a good friend of ours gave us something for the girls to enjoy at Christmas time!
Whoever thought that a little bit of fake snow would be such an excitement?!
It's the closest we're going to get to the real thing, living here in Tanzania ... without climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro (and having done it once, I don't intend to repeat the experience!). Over the years, Christmas is probably going to feel quite different and what it normal is going to change.
This week we have celebrated what we hope will be the first of many Christmases out here in Dodoma ... and it even included a little sprinkling of snow!