Hippo -- one of a pair

Animals tucked in the ark

Ark from Malawian Carver

When I was in Malawi this summer, I bought two of these arks filled with animals (and a Noah/Noah’s wife), for Christmas presents. I gave one to my mom and the other to my Grandma Max on Thanksgiving. I knew they’d want to put them out with their nativities. They were pretty thrilled — especially my mama. She is an animal nut and quickly went through each of the pairs to examine their features.

I was so glad they liked these. They were a pain to haul home and make sure they weren’t broken in transit. Also, Malawian carvers in this area have a tendency to smoke pot while they work, making the drug dogs at the airports go nuts. Several of the people I was traveling with had lost items to customs from this and warned me. Thankfully, Noah worked his wonders and we made it home without incident.

I hope your holiday prep is going well! I’ve got my little tree and decorations in place and the bulk of my Christmas cards were mailed yesterday. I’m going to start wrapping this weekend. I want my home to be festive for next week’s community dinner.