merry christmas! (or ‘shake your booty’)

so there’s no snow in tanzania for christmas. bummer. there are, however, these very strange christmas-tree-looking trees with perfectly symmetrical star-shaped tops that might be cell-phone towers.

last night, christmas eve, luke and i cooked spaghetti and tomato sauce with some fellow campers, then chatted around a campfire into the night. once the coals had died down, we hung stockings in our tent, sang some carols staring up at the stars, and burrowed into sleeping bags for the night.

christmas morning i awoke with the sun, collected photos of a colorful sunrise over the mountains, and treated myself to a breakfast of homemade jam, organic butter, cheese, quark, rye bread, and mueslix while luke slept in.

o christmas tree stockings hung in the tent with care christmas morning sunrise

in the afternoon, we decided to take a short walk up to the viewpoint, but halfway along the road we got bored and, looking longingly at the cliffs above us, left the trail for the bush. luke led the way up through sugar-cane and banana plantations, scrambling up steep loose terrain, and plopped us onto a footpath leading up.

when i say quintessential african village, what comes to mind? thatch roofed mud houses, africans dancing and drumming and singing in colorful printed wraps with babies strapped to their backs, munchkin-sized children running around barefoot? something like that? well that’s what we accidentally walked into – a christmas song and dance that became a welcome celebration. throwing verbal communication to the wind, luke and i jumped into the fray and shook our booties (literally, as that seemed to be the local dance) with the village matriarchs, who blessed me with a kanga (the printed wraps worn by women here) around my waist, and with the patriarchs, who offered luke a stiff glass of moonshine. lots of laughter, singing, dancing, and drumming until we disentangled ourselves enough to pass through to a view from a bean-field 270 degrees over mountains and the valley 1000m below. the villagers caught us again on the way back for more dancing and a photo. as we climbed down to the farm and our campsite, we could still hear the drumming continuing in the distance. a christmas i’ll never forget.

hiking through the sugar cane irente viewpoint me being hugged by village elder, surrounded by village kids, merry christmas to all


~ by aliciawolcott on December 25, 2007.

One Response to “merry christmas! (or ‘shake your booty’)”

  1. Happy New Year, Lisi and Lucas….
    Looks beautiful there. Glad you two are able to enjoy time together.

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