First Christmas

I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty homesick in the last few weeks. My thoughts have flicked to far-away family and friends, leafy streets in Bryndwr and everyone wonderful who lives there, St Tims, and the Southern Alps a bit too often. I thought Christmas day might make it harder. How good is it to be wrong! We celebrated the day in style, remembering a brave, confused teenage girl who gave birth to the baby who would turn the world upside down and inside out. Here we are, enjoying a feast with our neighbors:

ImageWell actually Nick took the photo, so you’ll have to imagine him…

Here are my favourite features of our Lacor Christmas:

  1. Cow poop. All over Lacor, people decorated their huts by smearing fresh cow poo mixed with red clay, soil, charcoal or ash, depending on the colour desired. I helped smear the floor of our church to make it smooth and cool for Christmas. It still looks swell, and the smell only lasted a few days!
  2.  Glass bottle sodas.Sodas’ (fizzy drink) are the mark of a celebration here. I kind of get why- soda usually comes in small glass bottles which must be later returned to the shop keeper. They feel much more festive than 2L plastic bottles!
  3. Chilled. There was nothing rushed about our Christmas…no buying of tons of presents. No frantic preparations. We wandered into our 9am church service at 9:20, which eventually started at 9:40. Celebration with our neighbours started slowly with card games and chilling, with a meal in the late afternoon.
  4. Together. I think I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that husbands around these parts are rarely-seen creatures. Christmas turned out to be no exception. BUT, our lady-neighbours all got together to have a party, so no one was lonely!
  5. Fireflies. We don’t always get to hang out with these little friends. But after we had finished eating they came out with the stars and flitted around us as we lounged outside.
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4 Responses to First Christmas

  1. Ray says:

    Greetings. You have no idea how Ugandasick this makes me. The photo and your 5 favourite features bring on so many memories. I must admit I didn’t originally believe the cow pooh floor thing until I went to the small local church in Mbale, and that was how they had done it. It really does work. You are a blessing to your neighbours the way you are fitting in. Love and regards, Ray

    • ntlaing says:

      Hi Ray, thanks for the encouragement and the recent letter! So good to hear from you wonderful people in NZ. I was amazed with the poo factor too. There are several specific acoli words for the action of poo-smearing a floor…or the side of a hut for that matter!

  2. Jean Catherine Hollis says:

    What a delightful picture – thank you for sharing it with us. We were blessed to have a Ugandan with us this Christmas – Robert Kamuhangire – who managed to survive the chaos that seems to be the mark of Hollis family gatherings now that we have so many young grandchildren.
    We miss you, but also feel peaceful, as we believe you will be a blessing to the people you have contact with.
    Blessings and love
    Jean

    • ntlaing says:

      Thats lovely to have Robert with you for Christmas. I could tell by your email it was a people and action packed day. I am imagining you Jean, as usual, making it all happen behind the scenes 🙂 You two are such rocks…for your families and for St Tims. xx

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