Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas at Pamuzinda.

So a slightly longer interval than a week since my last posting - sorry. But I was busy getting ready for the holidays - and today I bring pictures of Christmas at Pamuzinda: Lots of pictures today - because while I am at work, you are probably wondering what to do with your day!

Zimbabwe has embraced with enthusiasm the Christmas trappings of the West, and so we have trees with tinsel, shiny glass baubles and flashing lights, cards with robins, snow-blanketed fields, and snowmen. A little odd, but that's the way we roll.So I start with pictures of some of our trees this year. My little point-and-click doesn't do justice to the lights, but certainly gives a general idea of what we had going.  This is the tree we had at the entrance to the dining room - buffalo and fir in perfect harmony?

This was the tree in the bar. Again the slightly incongruous juxtaposition of conifer, snowman and African mask - but it works!

For Christmas day and the following 3 days, we marketed a meal at Chengeta in the wedding marquee featured previously. The menu there featured pig-on-a-spit, wildebeest steaks and chicken poitjie - a large cast iron pot with chicken casserole. This was the tree that was set up in the center of the tent:

But I think may favorite tree was the one we had in Reception. Though smaller than the others, it was the perfect tree for a Safari Lodge, and Kylie and Limbane - 2 of the staff here, had spent a lot of time, thought and effort getting the tree and snowmen ready:

And my Christmas? Well, as usual, an awful lot of time preparing food. I spent at least 20 minutes stuffing baby potatoes with pancetta and mozzarella cheese, ready for baking.It was tough.

Of course, when things get tough, the best recourse is often the illegal one, and in this instance I decided to resort to child labor. My youngest daughter made the mistake of walking through the kitchen . . .

I don't know if you noticed in the above pictures that Father Christmas was helping us in the kitchen too? Well amazingly enough, he was also spotted serving in the dining room and then later seen taking folk around and about on Game Drives :

Santa certainly worked hard over the festive period!

On Christmas morning, I drove my motorbike to Chengeta and Shumba to check on preparations, and came across the strangest looking bunch of fellows - obviously on their way to a Christmas celebration of some sort. Though what sort of celebration I cannot tell you, because they didn't say, and I didn't ask.

I didn't dare!

My western audience may think that the scariest thing in the above pic would be the sight of the 2 fellows wearing feathers and Zulu leg ruffs - but the scariest thing for me is the fellow holding the brown plastic 'scud', a container of traditional beer which wreaks havoc on all who drink it. I made the mistake once of getting merry on it as a hotel student, and regretted it for days afterwards.

And what the reveler carrying the white 5L container has prepared for his mates to drink - I shudder to think! I don't even want to go there.

But I bet it was flammable.

Lastly - following behind the fine fellows pictured above and heading in the same direction - so probably to the same gathering, was a group of four individuals heading for Christmas lunch. I had a sneaking suspicion that one of the group wouldn't enjoy lunch quite as much as the other three.

Africa can be a tough continent sometimes.

I hope you had a pleasant and safe Christmas, and spent time with your nearest and dearest.

Have a great day!

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