translation: I am thankful
Thanksgiving started like any other day in Malawi. I got up, finished up my lesson plan and went to school. I taught my classes, worked in the library and typed a couple exams in preparation for the end of the term next week.
Then in the afternoon I grabbed a backpack and headed to the Boma for the Mulanje PCV Thanksgiving. We rented out a guesthouse for the event complete with oven, toilets and beds. They had been cooking all day so when I arrived the turkey was done (freshly killed, plucked and cooked by one of the PCVs), the rolls were on the table and all manner of Thanksgiving goodness was cooking on the stove. With a few things on the mbaula (clay fire burner) outside too.
We all gathered in the dining room and said a Thanksgiving prayer, then tucked in. I took a bit of everything, of course. I especially loved the stuffing, curried potatoes and cranberry sauce. Mmm, cranberry sauce.
The local British volunteers joined us for the occasion to celebrate their first Thanksgiving. They were unfamiliar with our customs for the day, but they filled their plates and ate with gusto just like Americans-- and had seconds too!
Then we had a Thanksgiving trivia game. I now know that the first Thanksgiving parade was at Gimbel's Department Store, and the first parade balloon was Felix the Cat.
The winners got first dibs at the pie. My team didn't win, but there was plenty to go around. Check it out-- homemade pumpkin pie and homemade cranberry pecan pie. So delicious!
The pie did me in though. I had the traditional Thanksgiving over-fullness. I think that is the most I've eaten since I got here to Malawi. But it was so worth it!
As I explained to my Form 1 students, Thanksgiving is a time to say what you are grateful for. I am thankful for this opportunity to live and work in Malawi. I am thankful for supportive family and friends that help remind me I am not alone and help me laugh at all the crazy stuff. I am thankful for my fellow PCVs that help me put all the crazy stuff that happens here in perspective. I'm thankful for my students and fellow teachers and all my kind and helpful neighbors. And I am thankful to all of you that read this blog. Your comments and support mean a lot. And when difficult stuff happens, it helps to think, "Well, at least it will make for a good blog post".
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!