Christmas day!!! I woke up with the rest of the Mitton crowd to open presents and eat cinnamon rolls, just like Christmas back home! The Mitton family spoiled me with tupperware, ice cube trays, candy and Tuareg leather gifts. Tuaregs are a particular tribe of people from Niger that do very nice leather work (frames, boxes, etc.) and jewelry. It’s the quintessential West African gift, so I was excited to finally have some Tuareg items of my own.
We went to our friend Anne’s house for a late lunch/early dinner. What a feast! Salad, bread, turkey, ham, broccoli, macaroni and cheese, “calorie corn,” pumpkin pie, cheese cake, pecan pie, homemade chocolate peanut butter cups (I helped make those), peanut butter cookies, I could go on and on. Lots of these things are hard to come by here (like peanut butter, turkey and broccoli), so it was a real treat to eat so well.
As if we hadn’t done enough singing already, we sang some MORE! I think I’ve sung more Christmas carols this year than ever. I guess you have to sing more to make up for the hot weather. But, oddly enough, today was the coolest day in Benin since I arrived. I hear it dipped below 80 early this morning! And sitting in Anne’s air conditioned living room, I had to sport a hooded sweatshirt to keep from catching a cold. That helped get me in the Christmas spirit!