Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in Cusco

It didn’t feel like Thanksgiving all day. There was no hype or even any preparation leading up to the holiday in the form of ads or turkeys or pumpkin pies around the markets. I didn’t miss the advertising but the lack of excitment kicking off the holiday season bummed me out a bit. It was suddenly here but Peruvians do not celebrate it, as it is an American holiday. I wasn’t even inclined to try to make something. It all felt very strange. It was my first pang of homesickness since leaving the US 3 weeks ago. I worked my usual shift from 2-6pm at the hostel (see sign below) and headed over to the volunteer house for Friendsgiving with a bottle of wine. Mushed potatoes, anyone?

To my surprise, the dining area had a few festive decorations, including little turkeys made from noodles and construction paper thanks to Whitney.

Photo credit: Whitney Connor

My day became exponentionally better once in the presence of friends and helping prepare for a big, tasty meal with comfort foods of home.

Myself, Cara, Shelby and Whitney in the living/dining room of the volunteer house.

Nearly everyone in the house had helped make a dish or drink, everything being from scratch.

Photo credit: Whitney Connor

Photo credit: Whitney Connor
We had chicken (turkeys are hard to come by), green bean casserole, fresh salad, deviled eggs, the best stuffing in the entire world and more. Cara made her famous stuffing with the ingredients she could find and it was so delicious, I could have eaten the entire dish, nothing else and been completely happy in a food coma afterwards.

We ate and drank and relaxed, which is exactly what you are supposed to do on Thanksgiving, right? It turned out to be a surprisingly wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with good food and friends. I even got to Skype with my family which I was very thankful for, despite not having a strong enough connection to see them, hearing their voices was wonderful.

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