MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Am back in the UK and shivering! But just a quick post to wish you a very merry Christmas and a fabulous new year!

More stories from the minefields next year but for now I am off on a family ‘expedition’ to the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree (final decision to be made by mother-dear so this could take some time!) swiftly followed mince pies and mulled wine.

extended family Christmas tree buying

Happy Thanksgiving!

What an awesome day last Thursday…a fun, frantic, fantastically energetic day with 60 kids and some paint! Then a Thanksgiving party with some friends from across the pond!

photo-time-for-our-artists1

The protective visors we use in our minefields eventually become scratched, broken or just a little ‘past their shelf life’ so we replace them for our deminers and end up stuck with lots of old ones – there’s not much call for old broken visors!

taking-an-experts-advice

 However, with some imaginative thinking and a little help from our friends, the idea for ‘MascarArte’ was born!

With friends who work with a local orphanage and have connections with an incredible artist, last Thursday was spent in the compound with 60 kids and lots of pots of paint!

patiently-listening-to-instruction

It was a pretty hectic day – I forgot how ‘enthusiastic’ sugar fuelled children can be – but fantastic fun and all for a good cause.

The children were brilliant, avidly watching one of supervisors show them how the visors are worn by our deminers in the minefield and patiently listening to instruction from our artist.

learning-about-demining

Then eagerly (and with utter concentration etched on their faces!) becoming artists themselves, spending the day decorating our old visors in any way they fancied.

a-serious-artist-at-work

real-concentration

There was lots of clashing colours and I think half the paint ended up on the children, on the floor or on me!! But by the end of the day we had 60 beautiful, fun, colourful masks. And we’d even managed to tire the kids out too!!the-finished-articles1

after-a-hard-day-at-work

 

The masks will now be exhibited locally to raise awareness of child rights and child health in Mozambique.

a-home-made-game   

 

After a long day at the office it was a quick scrub in the shower then – still slightly speckled in paint! – off to a friends house for a Thanksgiving dinner!

thanksgiving2

It was my very first Thanksgiving dinner and promised to be a rather fun evening. The party was made up of Colombians and Americans (who had married Colombians) so for a start the language of the night would probably be ‘spanglish’!

Suits me!

It was all very authentically ‘Amercian’ with all the Thanksgiving trimmings…although just to remind us we were in Mozambique the power went down about 10 mins before we were due to eat…hence the rather ‘rustic’ dinner by total candlelight!

thanksgiving3

Great fun though, and a good warm up to Christmas dinner indulgence and over eating at the folks place in a few weeks time!