Thursday, December 29, 2005

Exciting Tings From Faarin

'Tis the season and have we ever been blessed with gifts aplenty from abroad. While we definitely recognize that Christmas is about much more than giving and getting, this year it was especially meaningful to get some nice familiar presents from home.

Since we had a visitor we had the fortune of receiving many things that wouldn't be as easy to send in a box. Shane's Mom brought us a duffel bag stuffed full of treats, more than we ever imagined we would be getting. The highlight was a queen size air mattress so now we can have guests and they won't have to sleep on the lawn furniture. We are hoping this will increase our popularity among the Peace Corps crowd, especially since Portmore isn't a popular destination spot on the island. No ThermaRest pads needed at our house; we offer superior comfort and only need 8 hours notice to charge up the pump! The rest of the duffel was crammed full of Clif Bars, Mike & Ikes, and Fruit Leather, oh my! As luck would have it Costco carries these things in bulk so we now have an ample supply. No more Clif Bar rationing - yippie! Our other treats were candles and incense (now we can combat the burning trash smell); magnets; licorice; lotion, soap, and body spray for Kaelyn; 2 huge bottles of hand sanitizer; and the card game Phase 10 (which Kaelyn kicked Shane's butt at yesterday). It was a truly overwhelming experience and we are well set with treats to send us into the new year! Plus Shane's Mom brought some super yummy homemade cookies from his brother's family and a cute snowman ornament made by our niece.

We also got a Christmas package on Friday from Shane's Dad which was filled with lots of festive treats, including: cocoa and Christmas chocolates, holiday scented candles, clothes, and Christmas kitchen towels. Also in the box was a wall decoration which reads Welcome to the McCalls and has a different hanging piece for each holiday and season. Right now we have a cute snowflake hanging from it. It really transforms our apartment and makes it feel homey! So while we may have been a bit lacking in the Christmas spirit before it definitely found us before it was too late. We realized that with a few touches from home we could still feel connected to the Christmas Past that we had been longing for. And it isn't over yet, we must have been extra good this year because there are a few more Christmas treats in transit!

A very special thanks to our wonderful family and friends who through their emails, cards, phone calls, and treats have helped us to be far away yet still feel connected!

- Kaelyn and Shane

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