October 31, 2004
Even though Heather and Brooke are 17 and 14 respectively, they still missed Halloween this year. Marta Winks sent us a garland of paper jack-o-lanterns, which we put up in the dining room. But they still missed the excitement of that purely American celebration.
At one point, Brooke said, “This is the worst Halloween I ever had.”It was hard. We tried to make it a special day but things just didn’t work out.
We wanted them to have a costume party, but since they have been on school break, all their friends were out of town. Then I said, “OK, we will make caramel apples.”But when we went to the big grocery store to get the ingredients, it was closed due to a strike –so no candied apples.
On top of that, the electricity was out for the entire day. Dan and I were at a church function all morning and afternoon and we left the girls at home. (Their treat was to go to a one-hour church service, rather than the five-hour Celebration that we attended.) They were very resourceful and got hot dogs (a recent find in one of the smaller grocery stores) out of the fridge, cut up potatoes for chips (French fries) and took them outside to Alfred and Margaret’s charcoal burner to cook. Then, miracle of miracles, they cleaned up the kitchen!!!
The highlight of their day was giving candy and treats to Alfred and Margaret’s four children. They carefully assembled candy and treats that they had been saving, bags of groundnuts (peanuts), sweet tarts, mangos, bananas, and gum and gave it to the kids. The baby is only five months old, but the girls figured that Alfred and Margaret would eat her treats. (They did!)
Brooke and Heather taught the children to say, “Halloween”and watched as they scarfed down the candy. Brooke said that it was really funny to watch their faces as they tasted the sourness of the sweet tarts.
Next year they may be caught up in the candy and the costumes, but this year, here in Malawi, they learned that giving can be just as much fun as receiving. We were very proud of them!