As we saw earlier, Christmas season has already started, everybody is running with the tide. Cities have already been decorated, barely twenty days to Christmas. It is quite amazing as to how the Americans view the festivities. After attending the “Agaciro Gala” in Washington DC, I decided to head north to Manchester, New Hampshire (not the Manchester United).
Their motto is, ‘Live Free or Die”! This is one of the northerly states neighbouring with Canada. First of all, the Agaciro Gala was a grand and spectacular event. We arrived for the event as early as 7:00PM, though action kicked off at about 8:00PM. We had fun; the function was graced by none other than the Rwandan Ambassador to the USA, H.E. Engineer James Kimonyo. Everything was fantastic. To cap the memorable function, we went to a DC club for the whole or rather, what was remaining of the night! But let this be a story for another day.
I am really surprised at how folks here love bushes – not the George Bushes but trees and nature itself! Trees are protected by the law; you cannot easily cut down one, just like the dogs, cats and squirrels are all protected. The most amazing thing is the presence of “Christmas trees”; just forget that Chinese Plastic “Christmas tree” people buy in Africa. Here, if you took home one of those plastic trees, you could get bashed in the face! All Christmas trees, whether on the street, supermarkets or homes, are real trees.
Here at New Hampshire, there are farmers that specialise in the growing of Christmas trees! Believe you me, a typical Christmas tree takes between 6-7 years to mature. On one farm, a guy had up to thirty thousand trees, all ranging from a year to seven.
My hosts decided that I accompany them on a search for a nice Christmas tree! No harm in that. As I said before, Amerika is a quite crazy place! Here is a country with the lowest taxes! It is said that, there are almost no taxes in NH, for reasons I cannot fathom.
Back to the trees, the tree is cut using a special hacksaw that cuts it at the ground level. Once cut, the tree is then tied on the rooftop of a car and you speed off home. It has to be placed in water as soon as possible. Amazingly, this tree sucks about ten litres of water daily and will keep looking fresh up to New Year’s Day.
As you may already know, the temperatures here are already below the teens! Sometimes they drop to the negative and then back to the zero mark! Most trees have shed their leaves tempting some of us to cut them down for firewood (thinking they are dead wood)! That is just a survival mechanism, to protect them from the harsh winter snow! Again, people are so innovative.
In town, they have decorated the leafless trees with coloured lights to make them look alive by night and dry by day! Otherwise, I should be planning to come back home for Christmas.