Its my favorite holiday! This marks my third Christmas ever away from home, and while I am pretty much ready to get back to the states in a few months, its been a nice vacation here! Even now, at the Peace Corps office in Dakar, Im looking out the window at palm trees waving around in the sunshine, with the Atlantic spanning endless blue in the background...and I can hear Christmas carols wafting up from the Christian center next door. Last night, a few other volunteers came to the office where Im staying (nice air conditioned rooms and TV) and I cooked up a bunch of french onion soup with plenty of Gruyere cheese on top. I also made scones, and we drank champagne while watching the extended Lord of the Rings movies : )
After the second movie, we got dressed up and set off in a cab to downtown Dakar, where there is a massive cathedral. Fireworks were being set off all night throughout the entire city, which tends to happen on every holiday. There was a mass at 10pm in French, which was an interesting and moving experience. The Senegalese drums were, of course, broken out at one point during a carol. After two and a half hours of mass, we decided to head out early. We were some of the last non-senegalese people left. I have no idea how long the mass went on for, but all ceremonies here tend to go on FOREVER.
Anyways, today we're watching Christmas movies, eating a Bouche de Noel, and having peppermint hot chocolate. I have a box of gifts from home, including Cheez-its, which are almost gone already : D Plus the Game of Thrones books which is all I plan on doing for the next week or so.
Im really excited for the new year. I will have officially completed one full year living in Africa, and will go into 2012 knowing I get to come home as an RPCV! This has been an amazing year, and an amazing experience overall (and will continue to be probably). I have no idea where the next year will take me. Im hoping grad school, but who knows? Fingers crossed. Since I probably wont be posting again before New Years, Ill put up my resolutions here. Merry Christmas everyone! I'll be calling America soon. Happy New Year as well, and if you are reading this, I hope to see you in 2012!!
1. Get home in one piece.
2. Get my cat home in one piece.
3. Get into grad school or find an exciting job.
4. Set up two new sites here in Senegal.
5. Bake a LOT of good food once Im back in America.
Should be do-able : ) Back to the Christmas movies!