Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanksgiving in Another Country

Thanksgiving Away from Seattle

When I commited to my service in the Peace Corps, one of the things that I had to contemplate was whether or not I was prepared to survive the holidays away from Seattle.  Never having lived outside of Washington, I have never had the challenge of spending a thanksgiving away from home.  Knowing that this was one requirement when moving to St. Lucia, I tried to prepare myself fully beforehand.  Of course, there is no way to fully prepare oneself when it comes to holidays in a new country.  There is only experiencing it firsthand, and adapting to the environment as it happens.  

     I thought about the turkey and the stuffing, I thought about the football game, I thought about family, and of course I thought about the stuffing.  Yes, I said stuffing twice in that
sentence.  Cranberry sauce and stuffing are my favorites by far.   Certainly I was afraid that I would have to live through a thanksgiving or two without cranberry sauce and 
stuffing...but I was not prepared for what Thanksgiving actually was like!  You would never guess that, in actuality, Thanksgiving in St. Lucia was very much like Thanksgiving in Washington.  

       There were about 30-35 of us PCVs and PC Staff that attended the Thanksgiving dinner in
 Dennery this year.   Mary Ellen was nice enough to host us all that day.  We began with a traditional "PCV turkey bowl", which my team dominated.  It was a lot of fun, and for a minute, I forgot that I was in a different country for the holidays.  


 After the "turkey bowl" we showered up and prepared the dishes in preparation for eating around 1 o'clock.  We had soooooo much food!!!  And yet, we managed to eat every single bite of it!  Hallie cooked amazing pilgrim hat cupcakes, Ashley cooked Key Lime pie and every one each brought a fantastic dish that included turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, tortillas and spicy salsa, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and much more.  The desserts were plentiful, and almost all of us needed a sky helicopter to lift us out of there.  

     The company was nice to have, and the conversations were great.  It was hard not to miss family, however.  I tried to keep my mind off of family by watching the football games on tv...but with the Seahawks playing the Cowboys it made me think of family even more!  I don't think that I will ever take advantage of having family around on the holidays ever again after spending one away from them. 

    After most of the PCVs and the staff took off, a few of us stayed around Mary Ellen's to play card games and lime a little bit.  It was a lot of fun to just relax with friends for a night!  I was taught a new game, which I still can't remember the name of for the life of me!  Andy and I taught Hallie and Greg to play cribbage, and they actually enjoyed it after a little while.  Perhaps I will have more cribbage buddies from now on!  Overall, it was a good Thanksgiving and quite a learning experience in my heart.


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