Merry Christmas (Craciun Fericit)
It's been maybe 45 years since I didn't get a Christmas card or email off to my friends and family before Christmas. Childhood friends like LouAnn Adair, Anne Bradshaw, Holly and Carolee as well as our family and extended family along with wonderful friends from home: Paula and Mike, Betty and Jim, David and Terry Wisehart plus Ugandan friends who share one of the craziest and fun experiences of our life.
We hope that you had a very memorable day. We did as you will see.
We actually found a manger scene off to the side of the Catholic church.
Bless their hearts, we loved seeing this. Probably the only one in town.
Most of the scenes were commercial as it is at home.
This man was selling a smoked bacon. It was his mother's recipe from the country.
Probably the best bacon we've ever had.
These are outside shops set up just for the holidays.
Everywhere we go the breads are to die for
Today's temperature was 63 degrees. Even Phoenix's weather
isn't going to be that warm we noticed.
How did that happen?
We're loving the blue skies
and jacket weather
These slippers are looking too warm don't you think?
Heavy wool blankets?
Maybe in a week or two.
Christmas morning this piaza was mostly empty
Christmas night it was packed, we could hardly move around.
Romanians came out in droves to take pictures and enjoy the sights
Christmas lights on the palas.
I think I've been spelling it wrong.
Hadn't noticed this before. Maybe they just put a light on it.
It is the coat of arms for the owners of the palas.
Here is a write up on the palas. Turns out it is only just over 200 years old.
These signs on the back of the coat of arms were in English.
How nice of them.
Christmas eve was spent with the missionaries.
The plan was to deliver goodies to ward members.
Here we found ourselves in quite a delima.
The street was almost empty but someone parked right
in front of our garage when we came out to go.
The neighbors are mad at our landlord for providing us a garage.
He told us they wanted him to tear it down.
He said they were jealous.
Since we use it I guess they decided to punish us.
This hadn't happened before.
After talking it over we decide that we could lift and shove the back of the car over enough
maybe we could get out.
In the end we shoved the back end of the car over about 2 feet before we
could squeeze through.
What a night with 6 of us squeezed into the small car traveling from one end of the city to the other with our plates of goodies. We wondered if they thought our gift tasted as
odd as we thought their food did.
This is the typical plate of goodies we received in return for
Christmas morning we had our four missionaries and the two missionaries serving in Bacau.
We provided each with a stocking from Santa. Items included a jar of Nutella, candy bar, pomegranate, hand carved fork and Romanian Christmas decorations along with peanuts and a talk by Elder Bednar, "Seek learning by Faith"
It was as fun for us to watch them open the gifts
as they were have receiving them.
Elder Swafford wondered where we got the cross between
an onion and an apple.
He had never seen a pomegranate.
Elder Brown showing him how to open and eat the pomegranate.
They also gave each other gifts that had everyone laughing
Some also got to unwrap gifts from home.
I told them it would make me happy to play the dice game so they
played games for quite a while.
Our Christmas gift to each other was this oil painting by a branch
member of some of our favorite
subjects from Uganda
Vaseli had a hard time getting it to us on the tram.
He said he would get the scratches fixed soon.
Did you know that making your own shredded coconut is easy.
Especially once you get it open.
We couldn't find coconut anywhere so Elder Brown bought this coconut.
Once he got it open he put it in the oven for maybe 30 minutes on 350.
Once it cooled the coconut came right out of the shell.
He pealed off the outer edge then grated it.
Here are some random photos.
This is a below ground market. This time of year they
sold Christmas trees. Some were probably 15 feet or more tall
This is the church we live at. It sits on a corner of Strada Ipsalanti at no. 28.
Our living room looks out of the top left window.
We don't use the center doors. They would open to the front of the chapel.
Our dear friend Lidia invited us to dinner the day after Christmas.
Again the meal was delicious.
We felt so bad when we found out she was alone on Christmas.
Kara would have loved the sushi
Homemade bread fresh from the oven
Sunday morning on our way to Bacau. We have seen these huge
bird nests on the top of poles. No idea what kind of bird nests there.
I love Elder Browns new black felt hat. He is much easier to spot when he wears it.
Sister Wyatt liked it too.
She will be leaving the area Wed with the next transfer.
We also learned we will loose our sisters here in Iasi to be replaced by another set of elders.
So sad, but life goes on.