Friday, November 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

How lucky am I? I got to eat Thanksgiving dinner twice, in two very different locations. For the cynics in you, my readers, I could be considered not very lucky at all. I mean, two Thanksgivings has got to equal Emma getting fat. But then and again, remember that this means that I got to have mashed potatoes twice. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah. And it also gave me chances to be doubly thankful for all of the amazing opportunities I have here!

Anyways, the first one was not much like any Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had before. It was at the US Ambassador's house-- a special meal to commemorate the YES program. Attendees included us YES Abroad students, our host families, some YES program alums, our school principals, and people from AMIDEAST and the US Embassy.
It should be noted that the US Ambassador's house is beautiful. We ate on the lawn (a real lawn! Definitely a rarity in Oman) and there were some security guards around. And did I mention that it's beautiful? Because it is.

Anyways, some speeches were made (short, alHamdelillah), and then we had food!

And of course, there were photo opportunities.

All in all, a very nice night.

Then, on actual Thanksgiving, I went with Quin to the home of some young people working with the church here in Muscat. Two of them are American, so they were holding a Thanksgiving dinner for some of their Omani friends and invited Quin to go along and bring some friends. So, wanting to spend Thanksgiving doing Thanksgiving-y things, I went! In the afternoon, we spent hours cooking: two turkeys, mashed potatoes, cornbread, green beans, broccoli, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and two types of pie (by the way, did you know that berry pie can be cooked in the microwave? it totally can). 
Then, the Omanis began to come over. One of the American girls had written a skit explaining the story of Thanksgiving. Everyone was an actor-- she had made paper Pilgrim and Indian hats!!
Oh yes. 
And then it was time to eat! It was just a wonderful meal, and it felt so good to be in a kind of a family setting for such a traditional family holiday. I am so grateful to the people who welcomed Quin and I into their celebrations on this holiday when we're so far from our families.

Everyone drew everyone else on balloons... here are some fabulous renditions of myself and Quin. Looks like us, eh?

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