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Halloween and Guy Fawkes in Kenya

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Last week was a bit crazy with Halloween and Firework parties for the kids. Having said how I miss Autumn in England, I was, before I could blink, thrust into a timetable of ‘lookie-likie’ UK autumnal celebrations here in Nairobi, centred around the children, bouncy castles etc.

One of the problems with doing Halloween parties and Fireworks for kids in Kenya is that it’s not dark until 7pm, so when you arrive at 4 or 5pm ish you are left with an awful lot of hanging around to do until dark. Lots of small talk with other mums is required if you can find anyone receptive and an increasingly ratty two year old hanging onto my ankles is a given.

It also means ‘DRESSING UP’, which translates as making/inventing costumes in a country where they are not available ‘off the peg,’ in the shops. I will admit that I could have bought the fabric and explained/sketched a design for a clever roadside tailor, but that would have involved 'advanced planning' - which is not a 'forte' of mine.

On Friday night I was cursing my eldest daughter’s school firework party whose theme was ‘Outer Space’, whilst neck deep in silver fabric that was shedding sparkles that got everywhere, even into my lungs. Not only was there one outfit to make, but my second daughter guilt-ed me into making something for her too when she asked;
‘but Mummy, what am I going to wear to the firework party?’

So that was Saturday morning stuck behind the sewing machine too. I think I was over compensating for failing so badly on the Halloween costumes, where one daughter had been dressed as a very forlorn looking cat in normal dark clothes (including a school swimming costume) and a face mask on elastic and the other two were told categorically by me;
‘We’re not going to bother dressing up, just get in the car.’

Perhaps time spent on devising clever home made Halloween costumes would have been time better spent, because I couldn’t help wondering when battling with the silver fabric, when will there ever be another occasion to wear an ‘outer space’ costume? Plus fireworks are simply not fun for two year olds, or for Mums who are preoccupied by the fear of loosing three invisible children in the darkness, where there are many naked flames and explosions going off.

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