Expat Thanksgiving

Last Sunday, the Dean of the church that we have been attending invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at “the house”. The house? Why yes, we have dinner here. We eat at 4pm so come anytime before that.

This “house” was a mystery to me until Tuesday when I was at the church helping to prepare for their Christmas Bazaar on Saturday. The Dean’s wife came over to help me but then exclaimed that she had to run home to check her marmalade. Fantastic, I thought. I’m here alone, can’t communicate with the Secretary and with Limean traffic it will be hours before she returns. She returned fifteen minutes later. This “house” was the Parish house that I didn’t even know existed until that very moment.

I arrived on Thanksgiving to a living room full of beautiful, native English. Hailing from various parts of the United States, we gathered in attempt to create a fall, American holiday in a spring, Peruvian home.

We ate turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, cranberry sauce, asparagus and pumpkin pie made from canned pumpkin smuggled in from the States. We drank wine (hooray for Anglicans) and sat under a canopy in the backyard, discussing the oddity of celebrating Thanksgiving in a city in which everyone else is going about their regular Thursday.

We drank until dark and discussed the upcoming Christmas pantomime. We didn’t watch the Parade or endless hours of football. No one had plans for early morning Black Friday shopping and Publix holiday commercials aren’t flooding the television. But rather we ate and drank and shared and fellowshiped. I’m thankful that even three thousand miles away from my family, I found a little bit of home in the familiar taste of pumpkin pie.