Thanksgiving in Dar

Thanksgiving without family is like Spaghetti without Meatballs! It is no secret that I have a HUGE family, that we get together all of the time and that we actually like hanging out together. A small family gathering is no less than 30 people, and a large one well it can be over 200. Family means the world to me. I was raised in a home where family always came first, and I love that that is how my family works.

This being my first major holiday without my family, made it a difficult thing to swallow. A few nights before Thanksgiving, when I realized that even if I wanted to fly home I wouldn’t be able to get there in time, I broke down. What is a Thanksgiving without family? My family is so much of what I have to be thankful for. Not that I don’t thank the Lord for what I have here in Africa, for my husband, my great students, our friends, the ocean and this awesome opportunity. I have so much to be thankful for. But for me family is what I am most thankful for, and I love being able to show them this during Thanksgiving.

Last minute, we ended up putting together a large Thanksgiving dinner for 23 people, including the Larmey’s (our foster family over here  ), neighbors, friends from HOPAC and Young Life, and our night guards from our compound. It was such a blessing to have a large family here to prepare a meal for. It made Thanksgiving feel like home. I even made them all sing We Gather Together and read William Bradford’s Proclamation. They willingly sang and listened which made it even better. (I can’t wait to teach them our Christmas Traditions. They have no idea what they are in for.)

After dinner we spent a few house Skyping our families. It was so good to see everyone for Thanksgiving, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents all together. Thank the Lord for Skype!

The Americans at HOPAC also put together a meal on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because it is a lot easier than trying to do it while you are working. It was held ad a South African’s home, who normally house a Mexican restaurant once a week and on the table was a Curry turkey, a unique experience to say the least. Although it was fun and the company was great, having Thanksgiving not on Thanksgiving Day just isn’t the same.

When it was all said and done, there are a few things I have to say about Thanksgiving. First, I love my family and I know that they know that which is such blessing. Second, not being home for the holidays is harder than I thought, and although I would prefer to not miss any others, some how I was able to get though it. Finally, I am so thankful for all of the blessings that the Lord has given me! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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