Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Little Christmas Fun

I’ve been waiting until I have felt inspired before writing a blog, but the truth is inspiration has been fleeting and there have been too many other things happening that I have given my time away to.
As much as I would have loved to be home with my family this Christmas I’m not, I’m here on the ship in Tamatave, Madagascar and making the most of this season with my ship family. The ship is well decorated with Christmas trees in all the common areas and greenery wrapped up the gangway and over the stair banisters. There have been a lot of events to enjoy, including Sinter Claus (Dutch tradition), Santa Lucia (Scandinavian tradition), Christmas movies, cookie bakes, gingerbread house competition, jingle bell dash and Carols by Candlelight just to name a few. I have made the most of Christmas by visiting the market and buying gifts for others for Christmas and picking up a few things for myself!

Nothing like a pair of Christmas leggings. So ridiculous.

Above is a photo of me walking around town with a blow up Santa. Yep, that’s right. I bought him from a guy on the street who was carrying a handful of them. When I saw them, I knew that I needed one. (Hehe, no one really needs a blow-up Santa, do they?) So I asked the man, “Combien?” How much? “Douze mill” 12,000AR = $5. No way, I think. “Cinq mill” He shook his head and so I continued on my way to join my friends at the outdoorish eating place (not fancy enough to even call it a restaurant, so I don’t know how to classify it!) 
Anyway, the guy hung around and after about 30 minutes he walked over and said “Six mill” I shook my head “Cinq mill” 5,000 AR = $2 (I drive a hard bargin- I know their game) and he gave the nod of his head, signalling that he had lost the battle and I could pay what I had said. So, Santa or Dada Be Noel as he is called in Malagasy, joined our lunch table.
After lunch, we headed back out into the market, Dada Be Noel on my hip. As I walked passed a group of older ladies sitting on the curb, they noticed the blow-up man and so I waved his arm at them, “Dada Be Noel, Salama” They started laughing and replied Salama. I reply, “Ina vaovao?” Giggling some more, “Tsy vaovao” And then I jiggle Santa with my arm around his belly and say in my best Santa voice “Ho, ho, ho” and just keep walking. Oh, the faces of those ladies, cracking up and laughing at me.
I continued these antics the whole way through the market. People probably thought I was crazy but you know, I don’t care, as long as I get a genuine smile. Dada Be Noel is now sitting on my desk, acting as a Christmas Tree surrounded by presents, although the tree lights are strung above him on the roof because I think they are hot enough that they’d pop him. Anyway, this funny little blow up Santa makes me smile every time I look at him.

The operating rooms have closed for this Christmas week and the wards have many less patients than normal, many of them discharging to be with their families or at least out in the community during this season.

Cleft lip baby christmas Mercy Ships

Cleft lip baby christmas Mercy Ships


On another random note, we stopped at this concrete Santa on the side of the road on the way to our favourite weekend getaway and took some fun photos.

Santa- did you know your eyeliner is running? Creepy.

Whether you are in the heat or in the cold this Christmas, with your family or without, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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