How to celebrate this time of year has been a struggle for me, especially since I moved to Africa, but this year I'm optimistic that we'll have a really special time. First of all, Innocent is home with us until after the New Year, and he's at the perfect age for getting excited about celebrations and such. Second, I have a lot more resources for getting and cooking special food and having presents and such. Third, we got a bounty of goodness in the trunks from the States, including Christmas stockings and ornaments and gingerbread cookie mixes.
One of the best things, though, is a bunch of friends to celebrate with. This week being Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of all), we have planned a big party at our house. Eric and Liz are coming with their two boys and her pregnant stomach. Bill and Ledeen are coming with their two kids and her pregnant stomach. Brandon and his wife (whose name I simply never remember) are coming with their son. The Dutch doctors, Pim and Yvonne, are coming with their daughter...all very excited to experience their first American Thanksgiving. It's going to be really fun and we've even been promised a pumpkin pie (although none of us felt up to finding, prepping and cooking a whole turkey), and the only downside is that Fred is on the road.
In preparation for Thanksgiving, I've been making menus and delegating various cooking. I practiced roasting a chicken, my first, and learned a valuable lesson about how the different anatomy of an "athletic" African chicken makes for a little different cooking experience than an obese, double D American chicken. Trying to explain to Adera, our house help, about the concept of "potluck" seemed to take some of the fear out of her eyes after I told her that four other families were coming for a party on Thursday. The timing of the holiday has also been auspicious, since Innocent and I have had to have a couple of conversations about being thankful for what we have and what people do for us.
I'll try to remember to take some photos on Thursday so that you all can see how we do Thanksgiving in Tanzania. Should be quite a spread and I know that there are three pregnant ladies very excited to tuck into it!
(As soon as Thanksgiving is over I'm going to finalize the Advent calendar I've been working on for Innocent. I'll post about that next week.)
Happy Thanksgiving (and Hanukah!) to all our friends!