US ambassador to celebrate Christmas twice

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Windhoek

The United States of America’s ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, chats to New Era about his plans for the Christmas holidays. Daughton was sworn in on October 6, 2014, as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia.
How do you plan to spend this Christmas (will it be in Namibia or outside the country)?

“My wife [Melinda Burrell] and I will be travelling in northwest Namibia in early December, but will spend the actual Christmas and New Year holiday in the United States. I am sorry that I can’t bring back a snowball for you.”
How do you usually spend the Christmas period – any specific Christmas tradition you are likely to skip or looking forward to uphold?

“Living as we do so far from the U.S., Christmas is often the one time during the year that my wife and I can travel home and spend time with our families, and particularly with our aged parents. We look forward to spending the holidays this year with both our families, who happen to live at opposite ends of the country. The best part of the distance between them is that it gives us a chance to celebrate Christmas twice, which means I get to eat twice as much turkey and stuffing. My wife’s family in Virginia has one special tradition involving Christmas stockings for everyone filled with funny gifts and cryptic messages, making emptying the stockings the most entertaining part of opening gifts on Christmas morning.”

Any special message you wish to share during this holiday season?
“Now that I am well into my third year in Namibia and have had the opportunity to visit most parts of this vast country, I have come to understand deeply what a beautiful country this is and how remarkable its people are. I will ring in the New Year from Arizona, but I want to wish all Namibians a healthy, happy and safe festive season, and a peaceful and prosperous 2017.”

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