On Christmas Eve our entire church came to our house for a service. We decided to have the service and dinner following at our home for a number of reasons. One being that we planned to start at 5:00 and by 6:00 it is dark here and the naughty folks come out to “play”. People have been going into the old dorm beside our church and engaging in naughty behaviour (I’m being very polite here...). The other reasons are that the church is very dusty and dirty (not much we can do about that...) and there’s no bathroom or running water.
It turned out to be rather providential that we were at our home because an hour and a half into the evening, the power went off and stayed off until very late at night. You guessed it, no generator at the church either (it would get stolen if we did have one...). It also began to pour buckets during the service. This was a welcome downpour as we hadn’t had a decent rain in a long time. However, the roof of our church is very holey so again, good thing we were in our house.
After the service we rearranged the furniture and pulled the table of food out and enjoyed an Indonesian meal. Beforehand I had bbq’ed a whack of chicken pieces which is always a hit here! There was also fish in a curry sauce with sambal on the side, a kind of banana that had been cooked, a green leafy vegetable cooked with spices and coconut milk (yummy!) and of course, rice and krupuk. After the service everyone went outside on our front porch where we lit off a few fireworks while people took turns getting rides home in the two cars that were available. Fun times!
The next day we had a lovely Christmas dinner with our friends here. We even had turkey with all the trimmings! Hugo and I collaborated on that mountain of mashed potatoes of which the leftovers made lovely potato cakes... Each Christmas season guys around town will make Christmas booths. Many people are quite creative. The point of these booths is to blast loud music for hours on end. Sometimes it’s Christmas music and sometimes it’s just ... music... This fancy one was built near the MAF office and on the road leading to the booth they had put bamboo poles arching over the road with lights up them and hanging from the middle they had made crosses out of water bottles painted white. It looks really neat at night!