Friday, December 14, 2012

Next Stop on the Christmas Train: Kenya

Our Christmas train around the world didn't make a stop yesterday.  We had a special morning watching the littler ones in their preschool Christmas program.  Then in the afternoon Old Crow had play practice for his Christmas program, and last night we ventured out in the cold for a fun night of Christmas festivities.  

Preschool Christmas Program

Victorian Christmas in our Downtown District
Having fun in the "snow"

Train ride

Train ride with Daddy

So needless to say...with all of that going on...the Christmas train around the world didn't depart yesterday.  Today, however, it left and traveled east for our next destination:  Kenya!!

Old Crow used the globe to locate Africa and then Kenya.  He was fascinated to see it is directly on the equator.  

Then while the boys had their snack, I read to them about Christmas traditions of Kenya from both a website (found here) and from information sent by a friend whose family lived in Kenya for several years serving both the medical and spiritual needs of the local people.  Thank you, Megan!  ;)  And Megan...your Christmas card came in the mail today so I was able to show them the beautiful family who once lived in the very place we are learning about.

* Christmas is called "Krismasi" in Kenya.
*Churches and cathedrals decorate with ribbons and green plants to pose as Christmas trees.
*On Christmas Eve, children travel to different homes to sing carols and dance.  At the end of their performances, they are often given gifts in the form of money.
*People attend church on Christmas Eve and then return home for a feast.
*Children are bought new clothes (adults will buy themselves some too) and they wear these on Christmas Day to attend church and visit family.
*The 26th is a holiday too...Boxing Day.

And here is an excerpt about Christmas in Kenya:
"I can tell you from our experience that Christmas is very much a Christian holiday. It may sound strange to say it that way but there is not much "cultural Christmas" celebrations or secular celebrations like that here. Churches take up special offerings and deliver "Christmas Hampers" of food to the poorest in the community. Families gather on Christmas for church and a big meal. Usually a sheep or goat is slaughtered to eat as part of the celebrations. The other food is just the traditional Kenyan food: Ugali, greens, cabbage and perhaps sweet potatoes and of course, chipatis."

We watched a video of the song Sing Noel (An African Christmas Song).  It is a beautiful song with pictures showing the landscape, local people, and celebrations.  You can also find it here.

After looking up an image of the Kenyan flag, Old Crow completed his notebooking page on Kenya.

And then we attempted to make Chipatis...a favorite flat bread and staple food of the Swahili speaking people of Kenya.  I read that it is both a bread and a utensil.  You can tear off pieces and use it to pick up other food. A recipe can be found here.

We mixed together flour, a little oil, and water.  After it became a dough like texture, we separated it into 4 different sections.  Rolling out each into a circle, then rolling it into a jelly roll, and rolling it a 2nd time into a snake-like shape.

Rolling one of the 4 sections into a cirlce

Jelly rolling one of the 4

After letting them sit for about an hour (I read where you can even let them sit overnight), I rolled them back out into a circle and placed them in a hot pan.  And they quickly bubbled and cooked.

We all had a taste of Kenya!  

Merry Krismasi,

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