In contrast to the last three years — when our winter holidays were accompanied by real winter weather — this year’s festivities feel a bit out of place given the warm, equatorial climate in Rwanda. But that’s no reason not to celebrate, especially since Christmas and Hanukkah overlapped this year.
We took advantage of the holidays to get out of Kigali for the extended weekend; in fact, we’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. We returned home just in time to catch the tail end of the Christmas celebrations and also throw a little holiday party of our own.
On Monday, our friends held a small gingerbread-house-making party. Munchkin’s first instinct was to lick the frosting off the cookie walls, frustrating S’s attempts to spur gingerbread construction. Once he saw the houses the other kids were erecting, however, he got the idea and got super into decorating his own house.
The next night, we hosted a Hanukkah party. In addition to traditional potato latkes, S also used the last of the zucchini from our garden to make zucchini latkes. She also found a recipe for black-and-white cookies. For S growing up, Hanukkah meant a winter visit to New York to see her grandma, who always stocked up on tasty New York bakery treats. Black-and-white cookies were always S’s favorite, and this Hanukkah being the first since her grandmother’s passing, S wanted to honor her memory by making black-and-white cookies of her own.
This year has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, but looking through our photos and rereading some of this year’s blog posts, the good memories easily blot out the bad. We hope 2017 will be full of fun, excitement, and adventure, and wish all of you, our dear readers, all the best in the coming year. Happy holidays!