A Kenyan Halloween

It wasn’t long ago us Englishers turned up our noses at Halloween, not me however, I grew up on an American compound in Saudi Arabia and have always known Halloween as a riotous, scary sweet fest that was the highlight of every Autumn.  Correspondingly I’ve always tried to make Halloween fun for the kids…
When we first arrived and mentioned Halloween we were told that it wasn’t celebrated much… we drove out to the Yaya  centre and spent a fortune on masks and capes; planning to have a celebration at home… The very next day we walked into Carrefour and a whole aisle of Halloween stuff had sprung up with the exact same items we had bought for half the price.  Lesson 1: Carrefour has loads of CHEAP Halloween stuff, don’t go elsewhere.
Then we heard that Purdys were doing a Halloween night on the Saturday.  We went along and it was FABULOUS, far better than anything I’ve been to in England. Lots of kids all dressed up, an entertainer, spooky food (think witches fingers, eyeballs and bats), trick or treating, treasure hunts and even a spooky room.  The effort was amazing and the kids were enthralled, as was I.  Lesson 2: DO go to the Purdys Halloween party each year.
Finally at the last minute a trick or treat was organized along our road.  We genuinely though that no kids lived near us but in the end 30 fantastically dressed kids ran from house to house here in Karen scoring bucket loads of goodies. Every house was dressed up to the nines and the festivities ended with a huge party with lots of wine for the exhausted parents.
It was wonderful as a newly arrived family to meet all these new people that live next door.   If there’s a lesson to be taken from here, then I think its about the importance of introducing yourself to your neighbours, something Im usually pretty rubbish at. And for those of you old timers… you cannot underestimate how much it means to newbies to be invited and involved in community events.
Hurrah for Halloween. Hurrah for neighbours and hurrah for wine to get us through the scary season


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