>> Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Nicaragua has been, well, different. Most volunteers are in the US visiting family and others have friends or family visiting. We're watching a friend's dog, so we couldn't really go anywhere more... festive. We put up a string of lights in our front window to add some holiday pizzaz, and I'm pretty sure it worked.

Here Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, so that's when most people do their presents, Christmas meals, and (if they're not Evangelicos) their drinking.  Fireworks increased in intensity and frequency all through the day, and then at midnight people just went all out--it was definitely wilder than any 4th of July or New Years fireworking we had seen, and was even more dangerous since fireworks are homemade and taxis continued to drive over the lit fireworks on the roads. We went outside to see (some of these fireworks actually sparkled, and weren't just the horrible bomb sounds) but had to plug our ears and come inside because it was so loud and there was too much fireworks shrapnel flying about. Dora and Luna were not happy.  Things continued like that (with the addition of awesome music) until 4 am when everything became silent--just about the time that most Nicaraguans start waking up.

We bought a new camera as a present to ourselves that Holly's parents delivered, but since we don't really want to accumulate more cheap, low-quality stuff from here and we want to save our money for nice things when we move back to the US, we didn't really have presents for each other on Christmas day. Holly did have one gift to open from a former student, though (it was a shirt). We got a laser pointer for a neighbor friend, but it never even worked (see above about how everything here is low-quality).

We had been planning Christmas dinner for a while because we had to make a special trip to buy some supplies in Managua, so I was pretty ready for a good meal and it didn't disappoint. We had been hoarding some instant sweet potatoes that we brought back from the US when we were there in July, and the Magdziarzs brought some instant mashed potatoes. That along with some chicken, salad, and broccoli made for the best meal we've had in a long time (if you don't count Papa Johns).
We were hoping that Brown Dog would show up on our doorstep for a Christmas Miracle, but I guess she doesn't know about Christmas Miracles. We still haven't heard anything yet, but we're hoping for either a New Years Miracle or a Holly's Birthday Miracle (both well-established traditions). 

We hope that everyone had a good Christmas--we definitely thought about and missed our families and friends and are looking forward to being home in plenty of time to spend the holidays with them next year.


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