Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in Paraguay

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I feel like it is the one holiday that we share with family, there isn't any pretenses about gifts or candy, and there isn't any religious controversy over it. Thanksgiving has this wonderful idea behind it, being thankful for what you have. That is an idea that I can certainly embrace.

This year marks the third year in a row where I have been away from my family for this holiday. While it always makes me a little bit sad when I think of the wonderful time my family is having back in Wisconsin, I am thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to explore or wander the world and see it in a different light.

The holiday festivities this year were the closest to my family's traditions than I think I've ever had overseas. Five teachers live together, and they organized a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner, with them providing a turkey (specially ordered from Brazil). Everyone brought a favorite dish to pass so we had a cacophony of choices including two different types of potatoes, gravy, three different styles of stuffing/dressing, carrot souffle, sweet potato casserole, dinner roles, green bean casserole, spinach rolls, pumpkin pie- it was delicious.
The bird and all the food, without the people.
Cristi, Shauna, and Chaya celebrating a great holiday.
The full table, complete with people. There were over 20 people there, which might be my biggest Thanksgiving I've had in the last 10 years. There were Americans, Paraguayans, and a Canadian, all coming together to spend time together and be thankful for what we have been given.
After dinner was over, one of the teachers brought over a special cable box, which transmits signals from the states. We were able to watch some American football, with English commentary, for the first time in a while. It really added a dimension of home when we were able to sit down with full bellies and do exactly what we would be doing if we were in the states.
During halftime, Jesse and some of the other guys took out a football (American of course) and started throwing the ball around. That made for the perfect Thanksgiving day, although Jesse told me, multiple times, that it can't really be a perfect Thanksgiving when its over 80 degrees.
I can't help but be thankful for the wonderful people that I am spending time in Paraguay with, and that we were all able to come together and spend a wonderful holiday together.


Caitlin said...

Did you really just use the word cacophony?
And how did we never know about sling boxes before?!?!

Jenna said...

I'm not sure, but we need to get a sling box soon!!