Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merry Christmas & New Year

Merry Christmas and a joyful new year to everybody reading this!

Christmas in Mwanza

Showing off our decorations

We’ve had a nice time and Naomi has really enjoyed having some time off to relax around Mwanza during the holidays. Got home few days before Christmas after a hefty 21 hr journey back from Zanzibar. To summise, we got to Zanzibar airport, checked in for our flight, waited, were told it was slightly delayed, were told again it was delayed, then decided not to believe them that the flight was delayed and ventured it may have been cancelled! Naomi managed to get out to the airline office and after 6 hours they admitted the flight was cancelled and got us a place on a little dinky flight going to Dar es Salaam (pic) with some friends we had met along the way who were in a similar situation but needed to be in Dar to get the last flight back to SA before Christmas in the morning!

Flight to Dar

Celebrating being at Dar!

Plane Landing

Plane Landing

In Dar we had been told our original flight we would have missed was delayed until 21:00 so we would still be able to get home. Got to check-in at Dar and we were first told that no there was no further flight, then asking someone else were told there was a flight and someone after a while checked us in! We then waited till 22:00 when a flight to Mwanza was called but apparently not for our tickets! Were then told there would be another flight that night for us (apparently the one that left at 22:00 would fly there then back for us!) This turned out to be false again and at 00:00 they admitted there was no flight and they agreed to take us to a hotel. First hotel was full so we eventually got to the second hotel at 01:00 and were told we would be picked up at 05:00 in the morning to be taken back for a 06:00 flight. So got up at 04:30 ready but then turned out we were not being picked up till 06:00 which turned out to be 06:30  for an 08:00 flight which finally left at 09:00! Learned a few things from this experience – don’t believe anyone at the airline/airport, secondly be thankful for getting home as in Dar those few days there were really bad floods and thirdly other good things can come out of situations as I met someone who could potentially be a really good contact for my Street Childrens Football project!

Christmas day was a mostly good day! Had a beautiful and pretty much UK quality Christmas dinner. We spent it with friends John & Dawn + children so we cooked the chickens (surprisingly meaty for an African chicken) and brought ice cream and they did everything else! We then moved on to another house for a larger gathering of games & food which included an excellent game of Articulate where (naming no names) the first player thought you could neither speak nor do actions to describe the word! Unfortunately on parking at the second house the power steering system on the car we were borrowing broke – put a little dampener on things but has now been fixed thankfully! In better news, Naomi’s fudge went down a treat at the party so she is thinking of going into business here making and selling it – even our dentist friends were happy to eat it!

Jumping at Dancing Rocks

Learning how to fly at Dancing Rocks

Boxing day we spent with the Brinds and family. A nice walk and some fun at Dancing Rocks (pic) where we saw a young fish eagle and some monkeys as well as having a good play on the rocks. Lunch on boxing day was an african treat – Hippo! Our friends had had this for Christmas (n.b. legally caught in a place where they have government approval to cull a certain number). Hippo meat is like a very tasty, fat-free, slightly richer beef steak which I would certainly recommend if anyone gets the chance. Also note you don’t get the whole hippo, just a few kgs otherwise the leftovers may stretch for a few months!

So overall, it has been rather strange being here over Christmas; hot temperatures (29-30 deg C) and most people acting like Christmas was just another regular day (had to go and buy some top up to keep our internet going and the whole of the Sunday market was buzzing like normal)! However, we’ve got our own little decorations, tacky flashing and musical lights and have enjoyed some great company (including the dogs at our compound who have made our flat their home while everyone else has been away). I was even lucky enough to finish runner-up in an 8 man squash tournament despite only playing once before yesterday (however my body is still rather achy writing this 2 days later)!

We hope that you have all had a very Merry Christmas and will have a peaceful 2012!

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.