25 Nov 2007

Felíz Día de Acción de Gracías!

Posted by Deborah

It hadn’t really occurred to me that I’d be missing Thanksgiving until friends of mine in the states started asking me what I would do for the long weekend about a month ago. Of course, Mexicans wouldn’t celebrate the first English settlers’ arrival and struggle to survive in the U.S. There wouldn’t be a family meal or any days off school. I knew I’d miss sharing Thanksgiving dinner, so I asked the school for permission to have a holiday potluck. They agreed, as long as it was on Friday instead of the actual Thanksgiving Thursday. So, I colored a turkey on a poster, passed around a sign up sheet and Friday after school about 20 students and teachers showed up to celebrate with me.

I have to admit, it was a little stressful the few days beforehand. I wanted to cook some traditional dishes so my teachers could taste the kinds of things I eat in my country and I had decided to make three dishes instead of one so there would be extra in case people showed up without bringing anything. First, there was the problem of finding all the right ingredients. Then, there was the awkwardness of cooking in someone else’s kitchen. And then, I could not for the life of me find an oven. My host mom said her oven was broken (or rather, it might work but it could “explode” when I tried to manually light it and she wouldn’t risk it), so I went to Sheila’s house. Her host mom’s oven was also broken. A neighbor told us we could use hers the next day, but then apparently ran out of gas that afternoon. It was ridiculous. We finally ended up using the oven of another neighbor two houses up. He had no temperature control, also common from what I’ve seen, and told us he’d never once used it before. Good thing it worked. Apparently, people here just do not use ovens that often.

Despite all the cooking near-disasters, the food came out pretty close to the way it normally does and the party was a great success. I gave a little history of the holiday and a little thank you speech beforehand en español, and a few other students added some thanks as well. Then we ate and drank and danced and ate some more. We had plenty of food and people seemed to love everything that everyone had brought. It truly felt like a real Thanksgiving meal.

 

None of my pictures are that great, but here’s one of me with two of my grammar teachers, Rogelio and Ester, and fellow student Mateo.

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