Sierra Leone Christmas (Susan Ault)

[This memoir is by a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools.]

Christmas preparations in Sierra Leone for Advent are different from America.
In America all they do is exchange gifts and go to work.  But, in Sierra Leone people will start celebrating a week before Christmas.  On Christmas Eve, people will do a lot of grocery shopping and buy lots of meats and chicken because they like to cook fresh food in the morning.  On the day of Christmas, all you can smell is the good smell of different aromas-yum, yum.
Christmas is so special for us in Africa, because you will meet new people. It is time to reconcile and a time of healing.  That’s why the best place people like to go is the beach with their small picnic baskets.

They throw a mat on the sand and two or three other families will come and join them...Africans like to eat from the same bowl and like to share.  I  love to see little children running and playing soccer in the water while the old ladies will be in their traditional colorful cabascloth, and the old men will be in their traditional ronko woven out of cotton.  There will be lots of people in different costumes dancing and playing games and doing their traditional dances.

The only difference about Christmas in Africa is that it looks like everybody is preparing the same dish like joll of rice, cassava leaf, and stew.  In America you do have different choices of food from other countries.
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