I've always liked Thankgiving. Like many modern holidays, Thanksgiving doesn't take itself too seriously. There are relatively few Thanksgiving decorations, songs, and greeting cards, at least compared to the other biggies like Christmas and Valentine's Day. Yes, it's a day where Americans stuff their faces with immoderate doses of factory-farmed turkeys and canned pumpkin. And yes, it's historical origins are rather debatable. But Thanksgiving is great in it's simplicity. It's just a day to get together with friends and family to eat, socialize, and give thanks. There's no build-up, and it's over as quick as it started. It's always on a Thursday (i.e. four-day weekend!). There's something about the constancy of Thanksgiving that I've really grown to love.
This year was only the second Thanksgiving in my life that I've spent away from home. My very ambitious sitemate decided to host a big volunteer Thanksgiving get-together here in our village. The cooking began on Monday. The menu was extensive, but best of all involved buying, killing, and roasting four ducks. Free-range, organic, campo-raised ducks, have you. I was there for the buying part, but kept my distance for the rest. Instead I busied myself with roasting yams and preparing my green-bean casserole. There was, however, one fly in the ointment. This meal was to be prepared in my sitemate's slightly oversized toaster oven. But after slaving away for nearly 48 hours straight, he got dinner on the table around 10pm on Thanksgiving night. We all feasted on the much awaited fare, and all was well. I even roped my two HCN (host-country nationals…another gem of a PC acronym, if you ask me) friends into joining us. Over dessert (a homemade pumpkin cheesecake), we decided to go around and share, in typical Thanksgiving fashion, one thing we were thankful for. To strike true Peace Corps balance to the whole thing, we also shared one thing we were unthankful for. I was initially turned off by this twist--why bring unthankfulness into the mix at all? But then it turned out to be a lot more honest that way. All of our thanks were bigger than our unthanks, and cynicism aside, I guess that's what matters.
Dreams of a Beached Cow
3 years ago