21 December, 2001

Dear family and friends,

It seems a little strange to be sending this letter when the sun is blazing, the flowers are in riotous bloom and we just picked two large, ripe papayas from the tree in the compound.

We want to wish everyone a joyous holiday season. We plan to go away for two nights over Christmas to a place called the Saiwa Swamp. It's a small national park two hours from here and has some unique wildlife. It's still at 5,000 feet, so it will be interesting. 

We have booked a "furnished tent" with two eccentric British ladies (mother and daughter) who run a campground. They've also promised to feed us from time to time. They have a reputation as good cooks. The swamp boasts a unique antelope (red and moth-eaten according to the guidebooks) that spends most of its time submerged in water. There are some unusual birds and species of monkeys. We plan to walk in the jungle (boardwalks and trails) and spend some time in the elevated blinds with our binoculars.

It will be nice to get away for a while, since we have been extremely busy, and very much confined to the compound recently. The really busy time starts after Christmas when primary exam results come out and we shall see hundreds of people looking for scholarships. We hope we're well enough organised to deal with it.

Hope to resume posting after the holiday. Blessings to everyone.

2002 Patricia Crossley

3 January 02