Although I wasn’t home for thanksgiving, I celebrated it three times. It really wasn’t the same though. I was really missing my family, and all of my friends since everyone was home from school. But I ate some great food and shared some great company.
My first thanksgiving was with UVM. It was at a restaurant in Viña. It was actually an international dinner, since not everyone who attends UVM is American. It was a potluck and everyone made a dish from his or her home country so there was food from all over the world. I spent most of the day in the kitchen baking snickerdoodles. I had planned to make pumpkin snickerdoodles, but pumpkin does not exist in Chile so I settled for regular snickerdoodles, but they were still a hit. Everyone loved them, especially my host family. My host brother kept coming into the kitchen while I was baking asking if he could have just one more please.
Even though there was a lot of good looking food, like enchiladas, a giant chocolate cake, delicious looking salad, and much more, I didn’t get to try a good deal of it and here’s why.
The table with the food on it was basically a large square. It was covered in many different types of dishes, but there was nothing to serve the food with. When it was finally time to eat after sitting through several long speeches, everyone jumped up at the same time. Since I had a second dinner, my friends and I had asked Carlos if we could get our food first. He had said yes, but when we got up to serve ourselves, everyone followed. I soon found myself surrounded by Mexicans who were grabbing as much food as they could, regardless of the fact that there was nothing to cut most of the platters with, but that didn’t stop them. They weren’t afraid to use their hands. So I stood in the corner for about 10 minutes and grabbed what I could. I finally escaped and just went to my seat. I had managed to get about three things. Most of the other people at my table hadn’t faired much better. One person’s plate was full of dessert; he claimed that was all he could reach. Hannah had actually done pretty well, since she was able to move positions.
After eating a burrito that was mostly filled with guacamole and some mysterious looking German dish, I decided to head back in to see what else I could get. This time I was able to grab a P.B. and J, along with some yummy desserts.
After eating and watching the classic slideshow with sentimental music that is always played at farewell dinners, Mel, Hannah, Maddy, and I headed to Valpo for our CIEE thanksgiving.
This was a much more traditional thanksgiving and there was even Turkey. It was much more formal, and not nearly as fun.
My third thanksgiving was the following night with my host family. I had to go to the CIEE office around 3 to do my final presentation and I didn’t arrive home until around 6:30. When I did arrive home, it was to find my host mom hard at work in the kitchen. She had already made a lemon pie, as well as her version of a pumpkin pie (she had bought squash and made a pie out of that). She had also made stuffing which she asked me how to stuff in the chicken (we hade decided to have chicken since I told her I liked that better because turkey always turns out dry). I told her that I had no idea since I was never the one who made thanksgiving dinner. But we managed, and after figuring out how to fit both chickens in the oven my host mom went to take a nap and I set the table and we waited for everyone to arrive.
My host mom had invited her mom, and one of her co-workers; unfortunately both of them were unable to make it. But my host sibling’s dad came, as well as my older brother. To start the meal we had squash soup, although we all pretended it was pumpkin. My mom had even made some delicious gravy, which my host siblings were a bit weary of.
When it came time for dessert, my sister and I were the only ones brave enough to try the squash pie. It actually wasn’t bad, it just tasted nothing like pumpkin pie. The crust was especially good though, since my mom had made it herself. I had some friends over to finish the pie the next day since no on else in my family wanted to eat it.
Although it wasn’t the same as being home, my mom had put so much effort into everything, I couldn’t help feeling loved and very thankful for the time I have gotten to spend in Chile.