31 Days · africa

#write31days {When 8,000 Miles Isn’t So Far Away}

I’ve already mentioned that being away from family during the holidays was difficult when I lived in South Africa. For some holidays, it was more difficult because they weren’t holidays in South Africa. In particular, Thanksgiving was always a little hard. I celebrated 3 Thanksgivings in South Africa, and all three were as different as could be.

Traveling to the Thanksgiving celebration!
Traveling to the Thanksgiving celebration!

But the second one was the only one where I didn’t feel so far away from home.

Part way through my Thanksgiving dinner!
Part way through my Thanksgiving dinner!

Yes, my family was still 8,000 miles away. The weather was summer-time-hot, rather than frigid-Iowa-November-cold. And the food just wasn’t the same.IMG01652-20121123-1518

But my second Thanksgiving was the only holiday I spent with a large group of Americans. About half my training cohort, around 20 people, gathered together at a guest house in Kuruman to celebrate an American style Thanksgiving.

Fellow volunteers sharing some Thanksgiving dinner.
Fellow volunteers sharing some Thanksgiving dinner.

 

The guest house owners had worked with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers for years, and so they “got” our desire for an American holiday. They made turkeys for us (which are actually hard to find there because they aren’t eaten much), and allowed us to use the kitchen in the guest house. So we had a potluck style thanksgiving, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, pumpkin pies, cranberry sauces, and girl scout cookies, among other things.

Yes, girl scout cookies. Expats crave the strangest things!

IMG01657-20121123-1548

The best part about the holiday was being immersed in an American atmosphere. It had been a long time since I’d experienced that, and it was nice to fully let my guard down and be an American celebrating Thanksgiving.

Our Thanksgiving spread!
Our Thanksgiving spread!

And, for a day, home didn’t seem so far away. What a blessing!


In case you missed it…I’m holding a giveaway! Want to win a copy of Sarah Jake’s new book, Colliding with Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth? Click over to this post to find out how!

-Jen

#write31days
#write31days

I’m linking with with Testimony Tuesday over at Holly’s place today!

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4 thoughts on “#write31days {When 8,000 Miles Isn’t So Far Away}

  1. How fun it must have been to celebrate an American holiday with American friends so far from home! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I know how meaningful that time was for you and so love reading about it. Appreciate you linking up to Testimony Tuesday too!

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