Heri ya Kristmas (Merry Christmas)!  We hope that this update finds you full of Christmas cookies, warmed by the fire, and ready for the New Year.  We are currently on safari with John’s family.  We’ll write more about our safari later, but for now, know that we are wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

We have found Christmas to be a bit different this year.  It is fair to say that it does not feel like Christmas at all to us.  It is not cold, the streets are not decorated with Christmas lights, and we have not heard any Christmas advertisements.  It has been interesting to experience Christmas in another, less materialistic culture, but we do miss some aspects – Christmas lights, music, and cookies – of Christmas in the Midwest that make the holiday season undeniable.

This week was not as busy as past weeks, but we did manage to accomplish a few tasks with BCC.  We met with both bag cooperatives this week.  The second bag cooperative is now in full production.  They are working with the first bag cooperative to establish an accounting system and how they will work together to fill orders.  Everyone seems excited about the additional cooperative!

We were able to paint the floor at another day center.  Kiboloroni day center has a central courtyard where the kids often play during the day.  The day center rooms are all painted, but the courtyard floor had never been painted.  We took John’s family and two gallons of paint and were able to finish the floor in a couple of hours!  It is great to have the extra hands and to be able to make the day centers friendlier for the children.

We also met with Genevieve, the BCC Health/Education Coordinator, several more times to discuss some follow-up for the PECS program and some simple behavior management strategies.  The day centers have been closed for the past week and the ELCT-ND church office closed on Wednesday.  It was good to be able to finish some projects just before everything shut down for the holidays. 

Kaaya’s new baby boy, Ebenezer, was baptized this week!  It was a fun celebration and another wonderful cultural experience!  There was a Baptism church service followed by a late evening dinner in honor of Ebenezer and his family.  Congratulations to Kaaya and his family!

This week we are on safari!  We will be home from safari December 29.  John’s family leaves Moshi on December 31.  They should be home safely by January 1.  The day centers open again January 3, and the church office opens again January 5.   We can’t believe that it’s almost 2012!


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