So in the past four years, I’ve missed three Thanksgivings. Two of them from Peace Corps, another from study abroad. And it does indeed suck when you think about all the family getting together, all the food and fun. But I think being abroad for Thanksgiving is also a unique experience.
Last year, since we just swore-in as volunteers and were about a week into site, three of us got together and had a spaghetti dinner with a group of Peruvians. While it wasn’t turkey and stuffing, it was tasty and a special experience to share with other volunteers (who turn out to be some of your closest friends) but also the Peruvians. They hear about Thanksgiving or see it on TV or movies, but still don’t grasp around it. So sharing the evening, the meal, and the spirit was a great experience.
This year, we accumulated vacation days and were able to travel freely throughout the country (much like Southwest Airlines). Of course it’d be crazy not to aprovechar (take advantage) these days, so many volunteers flock to various ends of Peru. I, the irrational creature, decided to head up the mountains to visit another volunteer who was finishing up a construction project similar to what I’m going to be doing in my site. We spent all of the day working, but during dinner we explained that today was a holiday in the states. We just had potatoes and rice to eat, but thanks to Jackie and Emily, strawberry Pop-Tarts served as dessert. Not exactly your typical thanksgiving, nor a good Hallmark movie, but a good Thanksgiving nevertheless.