Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Growing up, I always saw Boxing Day printed on the calendar on Dec. 26, but I had no idea what it was. (My knowledge of history is so weak I probably thought it had something to do with the Boxer Rebellion.) Since I have lived in a former British colony for many years now, I have come to understand that Boxing Day originated as a British holiday, a day when people gave boxes or gifts to one another.

In Nigeria, Boxing Day is a public holiday and has come to be known as one of the biggest visiting days of the year. Typically we don't exchange gifts on Boxing Day, but we do go out visiting one another.

My mom, being so logical, once asked me, "How do you know if you should go out to visit others or if you should stay at home and wait for visitors?" Hmmm. Good question.

After the Christmas Eve bombings in our city which claimed more than 30 lives, we stayed home all of Christmas Day. However, we did venture out to church today on Boxing Day. The day seemed almost normal except that traffic was a little less than usual, but church was full. So, on arriving home, I got out the frozen samosas and spring rolls to thaw. I figured I would just fry them up when visitors arrived. I planned this menu about three weeks ago because I knew we would definitely have visitors--and something must be served. Most people I know would serve rice, but I wanted to be a little different this year. Besides, many times when people have already visited other homes before coming, the last thing they want to see is another plate of rice!

Today was a quiet day at home, the day after Christmas. We read; we watched movies; we napped. But something wasn't right: no visitors arrived for Boxing Day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Clinic Progress

We have been building a medical clinic for a number of years now. Recently we were able to begin work once again. Here's a look at some of the current progress: 

This is one of the electricians. First he has to chisel the cement wall where the wires will come down into every room.

The masons are doing a lot of different jobs throughout the clinic. They just put in this internal door which will section off one wing.

 Here the masons are plastering the outside of the building. They are also doing plastering in the inside.

This lorry brought a load of ceiling panels. (That's Bezer Home in the distance.)

Here the ceiling panels are being installed.

More to come later!

Christmas Eve

I have missed this blog! I love writing and reflecting and sharing. Unfortunately our internet goes off when the power goes off, which is the norm around here. So I'll write while I have power to do so. We happen to be having our "Christmas Electricity" right now so I'm taking advantage of it.

Last week I realized that we have made it through the last few months of the 2010 without an incident in our city. Well, tonight, immediately following the Christmas Eve service, we heard that a few bombs had gone off in various locations around the city. We have not had bomb incidents before. Generally we just have rioting. We really don't have details yet, but a number of people were killed in the explosions.

It was disappointing to cancel our Christmas Eve dinner plans, but we needed to be home. I was able to whip up a decent Christmas Eve dinner for our family and our two guests. I won't mention what the kitchen looks like at this point.

I'm anticipating that we will be homebound for a few days at least. Christmas in Nigeria is associated with lots of visiting, but that may go by the wayside this year.