It is difficult to realize that tomorrow is Thanksgiving when I look out the window and see trees flowering and feel the warm breeze. The Thanksgiving Day that we celebrate is definitely an American holiday, although other countries have similar days at different times of the year.
Here we will have our class as usual tomorrow. The food in the dining hall will probably be similar to what we have most nights. We have enjoyed the meals here very much, but Thanksgiving is really not about the turkey and cranberry sauce.
On Sunday, we enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal with the ELCA rep for Tanzania, Barbara Hinderlie, her husband Pastor Andy and their children. They also invited Annie Bunio, a volunteer we met at our training in Toronto in July, and two families from their church.
Barbara ordered a 15 pound frozen turkey from Meat King in Arusha. We also had stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, beans and corn on the cob. The meal was delicious, but the fellowship around the table was what meant the most. Many of the expats we have met here are volunteers or mission personnel from the US, Canada, and Europe. Most have served God in this place for many years. It is humbling to be included in their company.
After dinner, Barbara served a pumpkin pie brought by Carolyn from their church. There are no pie pans here, so she made the crust and fit it into a roasting pan. The pie was wonderful and reminded us of home. My brother-in-law Mike always teased me about my “shallow dish” pumpkin pie. You can’t imagine what pie from a roast pan looks like.
Improvisation and flexibility seem to be the key things to remember here.
We thank God for each of you. Tomorrow when we have our dinner, we will be thinking of all of you at home and will offer a prayer of thanks for you. We will miss being with you, but we rejoice in being here.
God bless you all,
Susan and Tom