Lance & Megan's Blog

Happy Holidays!


I had the great privilege of celebrating 2 Christmases, New Years, and the Ethiopian holiday Timkut while we were in Ethiopia, it was almost like Christmas everyday. We arrived in Ethiopia on the 22nd so Christmas was not that far away.

Holiday #1: Christmas

Christmas time was here and it was a little different for me being with a team of people who celebrate Christmas on January 7th. My Christmas is normally so filled with family you barely notice Christmas has come and gone sometimes. This year, I had no family.

Just me surrounded by great friends who…

don’t celebrate Christmas the same day I do. I was dreaming that I would be home Christmas.

We decided to still have a big meal and do a small gift exchange. We invited the German missionaries that we lived with for dinner and they graciously accepted. The menu consisted of meat (we love our meat,) stuffed peppers, boiled potatoes, bread, green beans, and belinchiki (basically crepes.) I managed to make a yummy gravy which was a big hit. We chatted about what everyone does on Christmas and ate until we were busting at the seams. The gift exchange ensued after we cleared the table. Yulia brought some corn for popping and we ended the night with a movie. Christmas here was certainly green and bright! 

Holiday #2 New Years

This was a fun time. For whatever reason my team thought it would be fun to have a fruit party. I did not understand this at first, but apparently we had to pick a fruit, dress up like it, and create a game to use the fruit. Kinda strange, but it was fun.

Mmmm, meat!

I chose an avocado since not too many people on my team had eaten them before. I got caught up in cooking dinner and did not have time to go out and find some so I asked Ruslan to buy me 6. Seems simple to someone like me who has bought avocados before. Ruslan came back with 6 bright green avocados. I had to revamp my game real quick. I basically did the relay with an egg on a spoon but substituted the egg for an avocado. We had a watermelon eating contest, race to peel a mango, and conversation starters with bananas.

We ended our time with communion and sparklers. Ethiopia’s New Years is in September so nothing special happened in the rest of the country.

You can see our Christmas tree up in the background!

Holiday #3 Orthodox Christmas

This was my first time celebrating an Orthodox Christmas. Nothing really different except for the day. We had almost the same menu as before but we had mashed potatoes, shashlik (kebobs), and fruit salad.

The highlight of the night was dessert, I got to teach my team how to make smores! Yulia had found some marshmallows when we were in Turkey so she had saved them this whole time until we had built the firepit and could properly roast them. At first they were trying to use skewers, then I cut down a branch from a tree and showed them the real way to roast a marshmallow.

I pulled out some crackers and we all shared chocolate to make as close to smores as we could. They all loved them and I was happy to have something that reminded me of home. We did our main celebrating on Thursday night and then on Christmas day we went to church where there was lots of dancing and singing. On our way to church, low and behold, here comes Santa Claus walking down the street. He was there mostly for the tourists, but it made me laugh! I think we had ourselves a merry little Christmas.

Holiday#4 Timkut

This holiday is supposed commemorate the day Jesus was baptized. This is THE biggest holiday in Ethiopia by far. People all dressed up in white and went singing down the street; there were parades everywhere. Streamers were hung over the streets, the majority of places were closed. We had a great time simply walking around and watching the celebration.

P.S. Did anyone notice how many different Christmas song lyrics I used in this post? Yes there are references to Christmas song. Can’t guarantee a prize, but you can always have bragging rights!

posted under funny, team, travel
2 Comments to

“Happy Holidays!”

  1. On April 14th, 2011 at 9:54 pm mom Says:

    Nice to read more of your blog! 🙂 It was interesting to read that Ethiopia’s BIGGEST holiday celebrates Jesus’ baptism. I think there were short lyrics from five different Christmas songs…am I right?!
    Love you lots!!

  2. On April 30th, 2011 at 2:49 am Megan Says:

    Wrong mom, keep guessing!