Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving 2010
It’s Thanksgiving. The more I think about it, and how excited I am for this day, the more I realized how important this holiday is for me. I have had a lot of amazing Thanksgivings over the past many years, all over the place.
Of course there were my many Thanksgivings in New York, either at my parents’ house or my Aunt Ann’s house. Many Thanksgivings I would bug my parents to brave the traffic of NY and take me to the Macy’s Parade. Even though we were constantly late with leaving, causing us to be towards the back of the crowds, it didn’t bother us. The beauty of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is it doesn’t matter where you are standing, every spot is great since the amazing sites are the balloons floating in the air. Whenever we had Thanksgiving with my Aunt Ann’s family they would always make sure to pick up the best dinner rolls ever. They are from their local bakery in Yonkers. They seriously are so amazing, that when it has been awhile between visits, my family makes sure to have rolls for me to indulge in.
One year my sister and I decided to make use of the long holiday weekend and spend Thanksgiving in Dublin. We had a really fun trip, especially since it was during the election of 2000 debacle. Thanksgiving Dinner was spent at Captain America’s restaurant, so we could have a taste of home.
The following year I found myself at the University of Wyoming (go Pokes!) , and because of the tragedy of 9-11, I found myself very homesick come Thanksgiving, however, I could not afford to come home, especially with it being such a short trip. So I had to find a new place to celebrate Thanksgiving. Just a few states away was Billy, my brother, who was studying at Eastern New Mexico University (go Greyhounds!) Unlike plane tickets, Greyhound bus tickets are much cheaper. I hopped on a 12 hour bus trip and visited him. It was both of our first Thanksgivings without family, in a place that we thought we really should be cooking. On Thanksgiving Eve we found ourselves walking to the supermarket to buy our Thanksgiving feast. We walked through the aisles talking. Neither of us were quite sure about cooking a turkey, especially since they are so large. But those little Cornish hens, those are small, and we could easily figure out without burning, or worrying about keeping raw. So we cooked a chicken along with a few small sides to put together the most random collection of food. It was the Thanksgiving that I found myself stuck in a windstorm on playground equipment, and saw my first tumbleweed.
Of course I have celebrated Thanksgiving in Wyoming, the best of which was with my friend Liz White’s family. She lives up in Sheridan, WY, one of the best cities in the world. Liz and her mom and as professional as it comes to being chefs, so there is always the most amazing food to feast on. After cooking, the crowd that will be coming for dinner comes to the back deck to spend time at the fire pit, before coming in for dinner. It is always an amazing time.
Thanksgiving in Colorado was a great few day experience for me. The one time I spent it there, I went to my friend Kate’s house in Fort Collins. My neighbors Alex and Mike were there, along with my friend Monica. It was a great gathering. The most memorable part was taking Mr. Potato Head parts and putting them over the raw turkey. That turkey was so much fun to play with!
Last year, we had a cultural day in Thanksgiving. It was a great chance to have exposure to Samoan culture, and realize what we will have to look forward to, and be thankful for. It was great because it was spent with my entire Peace Corps family, a family that would always be there for me through thick and thin. A group of people that I knew would help me though all of the hard times, and share the joy in some of our great times.
It brings me to today. Thanksgiving 2010.
The day started with text messages from others wishing me a happy Thanksgiving, and them sharing the silly things they were thankful for, one was for the water being turned back on in time to shower, another was for her family cooking delicious koko arisa (rice in chocolate-so amazing!) It made me begin to think of what I was thankful for. I could probably fill a list a mile long with the things on my mind….the biggest being:my families. No matter what I know my families in Samoa will be there for me. First my family in America, this includes my family I grew up with, and Sharlene my Samoan sister who lives in California. They always call aor send messages online to check on me and support me through thick and thin. It is an amazing feeling to hear them say how proud of me they are, when I don’t feel like I am doing much to deserve this recognition. My family in Samoa, always makes sure I have a full belly, ironed clothes, and enjoy each and every day here. They put up with my picky eating…well at least it isn’t as picky as I used to be. When I need medical help, they make sure I get it, and when I need something little like someone to talk to, I know they are there. My little sister is always there providing a laugh or a dance party, while my brother are amazing cooks.My friends, especially the ones I refer to as my brothers and sisters. They provide so much for me. Sometimes it is a place to sleep, other times a bite of food, or even a chat. They are always there for me. I love the fact that I can just show up unannounced at one of their houses, and they not accept it, but appreciate it. They are such a great family.I am also thankful for the Peace Corps staff, because they really do a great job of supporting us, especially when we need it the most. I am especially thankful for our Medical Officer who deals with all of my issues.Savai’i- It sounds weird to be thankful for my island, but I feel like the entire island has taken such good care of me. I love especially my side, where people know me in villages throughout and are constantly asking about my family abroad. Besides Savai’i is such a beautiful magical place, I am just thankful to be here.My school, especially my students. My students are my friends. They help me as much as I help them. When I find myself in a sticky situation, whether it be vicious dogs, annoying men, or even just very thirsty, they are always there to my rescue.
To be in the Thanksgiving spirit, I decided to eat like it was Thanksgiving, and eat everything in sight. The day started off easy for this task, with one keke pua’a (deep friend dough with noodles inside). Then they handed me breakfast, 4 pankeke (pancakes that are deep friend dough shaped like those little muchkin doughnuts), and 2 more keke pua’a. I encouraged my belly, and was able to complete the task.
I waited a few more hours until lunch, where I had moa farai (fried chicken-probably spelled wrong) with gravy and fa’I (bananas). Sadly, I was unable to finish the 3 giant pieces of chicken with 5 bananas. I of course left the bananas…I don’t know what’s for dinner but I plan to feast as well as I can.
Besides this is my preparation day for my second Thanksgiving, the real one will be on Saturday. It will be at the Charge D’ Affairs house, and always has amazing food and company. I truly cannot wait for it. To hold me over, I am having people I talk to explain to me in details what was on their table as my mouth waters.
I am just really thankful to be in the situation I am in, because life is amazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment