Happy holidays everyone! We are halfway through one of our favorite times of the year, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so we thought we’d update everyone on our awesome day after Christmas party and our plans for New Year’s Eve. This past Saturday we hosted 9 good friends for a Christmas party. Everyone made it here despite some difficulties with public transport (there’s always difficulties with transport) and we had a wonderful time. We kicked the party off officially around 5pm when everyone got there, hosting parties is a little weird here because different transport situations mean some people show up around 11am, then a few at 1pm, and finally 4pm. Nevertheless, we were just happy to spend some time with good friends and enjoy the holiday. Grace had worked all week prepping incredible finger foods, and despite fearing that it wasn't enough, we had more than enough to make lunch of the leftovers the next day! The food was delicious! We had Mexican roll-ups, 7-layer dip, pasta salad, bruschetta, fruit and cheese, but most importantly…cookies. There was a small army of gingerbread men and mountains of snicker doodles and chocolate oatmeal cookies. We all stuffed ourselves to the limit and then pushed onwards realizing that we’re PCVs and we don't eat that good very often! From there we went on to what was the highlight for all of us that evening, the sharing of Christmas traditions. We made snowflakes and ornaments, decorated our door with a special family Christmas tree, heard the telling of a Christmas story complete with small gifts, and sang what had to be the best rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas any of us had ever heard. At least the funniest rendition. Through it all the most amazing thing to me was the wonderful support network we all have here in Swaziland. 6 months ago we were all complete strangers, and now we’re giving all we got singing the 12 Days of Christmas so Christmas can feel a little more Christmassy for one volunteer. It's amazing how fast and strong friends can be made when you all share a common dream like being a PCV.
Now, it's Monday. On Wednesday a group of us will be traveling to Durban, South Africa for New Year’s Eve! Grace and I have enjoyed some really fun New Year’s Eve’s parties the last couple years with friends and family alike, and this year should be no different. It’ll also be our first true vacation and we’re very excited to hit the beach and feel like tourists for a couple days! We’ll be sure to update you all once we get back!
We’re loving and missing all of our family and friends back home right now, but we’re also incredibly blessed to be able to enjoy the holidays with bangani betfu eSwatini. Know that at 5pm (Tennessee time) on Dec. 31st we’ll be wishing everyone back home a happy New Year, and wishing nothing but the best to come for all.