Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Botswana, which is not surprising, so we didn’t have the day off. It’s not like the Batswana don’t celebrate with a Thanksgiving like feast any chance they get- weddings, funerals, prize giving ceremonies, preschool graduations, community events- with fried chicken, potato salad, rice, paleche, seswaa (pounded beef), samp, beets, butternut squash and merogo (vegetable of some sort). It just isn’t the same for some reason as turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, home baked bread and pie.
We had the good fortune to celebrate Thanksgiving today with all of the above food (we did have to forgo sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and green beans). The pie was fudge pecan (we have never been fans of pumpkin pie and making our traditional buttercrunch pie just wasn’t possible with the equipment and ingredients needed) but we are adaptable. We thought we would need to be content with stuffed chicken by found frozen turkey last Saturday. This turned out fortuitous as our power was out for two days and the turkey kept other food cold without defrosting itself.
We are thankful our friend Mary Konege and her son, Mikey were able to join us. Husband Fila was involved in soccer matches all day and evening. Mary is the new Volunteer Liaison with the Peace Corps and lives in a neighboring village.
It is even raining now which is a sign of good fortune here. This will be a Thanksgiving we will always remember. While it is hard being so far from family this time of year, we are thankful for all the new friends and for our new Peace Corps “family”. We hope many of you got to enjoy hiking in the Oregon, Arizona and California State Parks on Black Friday. We sure hope this becomes a tradition we can enjoy when we get back in 2017.