Turkey Day and the Eleventh Month
Let me begin by saying, half the fun of writing blogs is coming up with the title. This blog was originally going to be called "What we did in November", but let's be honest. That's pretty boring. I actually just read an article about the top ten blogging mistakes and number three told me to "avoid cute or humorous headlines that make no sense out of context", but I've decided to make an executive decision and go with "Turkey Day and The Eleventh Month" anyway!
(Sorry about that rabbit trail, something about blogging brings out my silly side! OK, back to the blog...)
The holiday season stirs a certain nostalgia in me. I've always been a sucker for holiday traditions, and as we approached our first Thanksgiving in Thailand, my little heart began to beat wildly with the impending doom of a Thanksgiving celebration that "just didn't measure up." However, I'm happy to report that I was far from disappointed!
This past month we learned that America is not the only country that celebrates Thanksgiving. The Akha also have a similar festival to celebrate the yearly rice harvest. Much like American celebrations, they decorate with pumpkins, corn stalks and other "harvesty" things and throw a huge feast! Although they don't eat turkey, their minced pork is "to die for"!
With so many Akha villages in the area, there many opportunities celebrate (they tend to schedule their festivals on different days so they don't interfere with each other.) We ended up attending festivals in five different villages. We had a great time meeting new people, eating excellent Akha food and giving thanks to God for his provision with our Akha brothers and sisters in Christ.
We also had a wonderful American-style Thanksgiving with some other missionaries who live in the Chiang Rai area. We had turkey, stuffing and all the fixin's. It was so wonderful and "just right" that I almost started crying as I walked through that buffet line! (No joke!) We even were blessed to celebrate with family as Paul's dad was in town visiting during Thanksgiving!
As with most American thanksgivings, each family was expected to bring a dish of thier choice. I declared myself in charge of the pumpkin pie. (After all, what is Thanksgiving with out pumpkin pie?!?) Then, I realized that pumpkin in a can doesn't exist here and pre-made pie crusts are equally rare. But as I said, I'm a stickler for tradition and I ended up making the whole thing from scratch. (Thank goodness for the internet!) It tasted pretty good, but I'm still trying to clean up the mess I made in the kitchen!