Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I like the fact that it is about being with friends and family and being thankful without the pressures of Christmas to purchase gifts and fill an entire season with activities in order to celebrate it. It is a simple holiday. I am a simple person. Thanksgiving and I go well together!
Having lived the ex pat life for a long time now, I recall years where getting a turkey for our Thanksgiving meal was not always an easy thing to accomplish. These days, turkeys are much easier to come by in South America than they used to be.
I remember, many, many, years ago, in Mexico, my soon to be brother in law and his sister managed to get us a turkey from the village where she taught school. We filled our home with his family for our dinner. I was a little upset to see them add chili peppers to my dressing!
In Venezuela we managed to find turkeys in the city, but in the jungle, it was not always so. IF a plane came through on the right day, the missionary pilots might be able to bring us one. Or perhaps an indian would run across a wild turkey while hunting, but if not, we would just be happy to have any meat on our Thanksgiving table. I remember some years we ate tapir, which is much like beef. We had deer, which seemed appropriate as I recall that Squanto and his friends brought deer to the Pilgrim's thanksgiving feast. We have eaten fish, chickens, even capybera. The important thing was to be together.
This year we are celebrating a little differently. Tomorrow we are invited to a traditional thanksgiving dinner to be held for the Embassy staff, the board of directors for the Centro Cultural Paraguayo-Americano, the Chamber of Commerce, and a group of Paraguayan professionals who have graduated from American colleges. I am sure it will be fun and entertaining. I love meeting new people and hearing their life stories.
But the real fun for us is that we will be traveling to Uruguay to visit friends for the holiday. They were also missionaries in Venezuela and we have not seen each other for a few years now. We will be driving our own car and since there are no turkeys available in their town, we are taking the turkey with us. Hopefully, we will get it through customs as we are traveling through Merco~Sur countries.
I went out to buy the turkeys last week end and found two small ones which will fit in the cooler for the two day road trip. We will take them frozen and packed in ice which we will replenish along the way. These two turkeys are well traveled having already come to Paraguay from Peru and their journey is not over as now we take them to Uruguay, via Argentina.
Americans will do a almost anything to ensure a turkey for the thanksgiving table!
How about you? Have you had troubles finding turkeys for your Thanksgiving, now, or in the past? Have you an interesting tale about celebrating Thanksgiving over seas or even at home in the USA?