Usually I am a little bit sad on Thanksgiving and Fourth of July. To me, these are truly American holidays that never quite feel the way they are supposed to when we're over here sweltering in Dar's almost-December heat. Twice we had very nice Thanksgiving celebrations in Nairobi, including one time with the best turkey I have ever eaten my life. But basically, because I am not a good cook and Kristoffer always has to work, the kids have school, and it is just another day in the life. I would never attempt Thanksgiving at home by myself. So it just always depends on if we get invited to someone else's Thanksgiving! That sounds really "free-loader"ish of me - but I'm being honest! I am always happy to contribute, but is my vegetarian husband really going to eat a Turkey dinner with me at home? No. So before yesterday we had never celebrated Thanksgiving in Dar.
Last year Aya and I were happily home in America with my family - THAT was awesome. But this year we also struck the jackpot and were invited to a massive Thanksgiving feast put on by friends who not only LOVE TO COOK THANKSGIVING DINNER, but, as it turns out, are also pretty damn good at it. And even though the 5 Welsiens were not related to any of the other 35 people who were there (including many who weren't American!), it really felt like Thanksgiving. There was just something about it! There was an insane amount of delicious food - everyone contributed what they needed the meal to include for them to feel like home. Our friend John smoked an amazing turkey (If you haven't tried that before, holy turkey it will knock your socks off! Our kids ate a ton of turkey, which is saying something!) and all traditional side dishes along with some totally new-to-me side dishes were represented. It was fun talking to non-Americans about our American holiday.
Grace celebrated one Thanksgiving in Nairobi, but I think it was Noah's first Thanksgiving! Noah and Grace were the "big kids" at the party and were very, very well-behaved. Aya loved the black lab who lives at that house. I had made coloring books for all the kids which kept them occupied for awhile, but there were plenty of nannies around to keep track of all the small people (including our own beloved Oliver). And maybe towards the end we put on a Looney Tunes Thanksgiving. Noah liked it so much at our friend's house that he already asked if we can go there for Christmas! Hilarious! There were I don't even know how many pumpkin pies - and the best dessert was the pumpkin WHOOPIE pies! To die for! These friends of ours, also Catholic, said a traditional Catholic grace and encouraged us to write what we were thankful for on the paper table clothes. Everything about it made for a wonderful evening. I was so thankful for being there at that moment in this place with those people.
I did not take a single picture! But imagine 40 hot, sweaty people wearing sun dresses or shorts (Kristoffer looked very dapper in a shirt and tie!) melting on the roof top deck of our friends house - stuffing our faces with amazing American Thanksgiving food and feeling so grateful to be together for one of America's greatest holidays. And not a single one of us felt any pressure to go shopping today :) Our kids stayed up 90 minutes later than normal so were understandably tired this morning, but it was sooooo worth it. And Aya ate so much turkey that she slept for 10.5 hours last night. Thank you tryptophan (if that was, indeed, your doing) - I am thankful for you!
Hope everyone else at home had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was really nice not to feel at all sad this year!