Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A Very Zam Thanksgiving
A list of my favourite holidays would currently include the following: Christmas, Halloween, any holiday with fireworks, and Labour day because it’s so ironic. Other potential new faves include: Guy Fawkes, All Saints and Dewali. Thanksgiving is noticeably absent from this list. I can’t say exactly why, but I always thought it was just a lame holiday. Sit around, stuff yourself, and pass out while watching American football. Not great in comparison to the truly great holidays of this world. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is such an intense family holiday and family has always been a little dicey for me? Bah, Christmas is full of family and it is the cat’s meow, the freaking bee’s knees! Whatever my reasoning, I don’t love this American pastime.
While I have spent Thanksgiving away from home before, this one was unique mostly because it was about 85 degrees, humid, and I spent several hours sunbathing in a pool. I have become pretty accustomed to cold rain, snow, and just general ugliness at this time of year. My actual Thanksgiving Day was spent at the Craig’s home (Katie’s parents) in Lusaka, relaxing and spending time with new friends. However, this was only the warm up meal.
The Mulilo (fire) flat warmly welcomed 23-ish guests to its tiny home on Saturday for a traditional American Thanksgiving feast. I personally took charge of the dishes and general clean-up seeing as though I am completely useless in the kitchen. Despite my best efforts to set something on fire or add peanut butter to the squash, the meal went off without a hitch. I suppose the table did catch on fire at one point, but that just seemed to be an appropriate initiation. I was elected as the MC for the evening: sporting the name “Lady Kyla,” carrying around a giant spoon meant to stir n’shima, and distributing the “special” drinks. Another duty of mine was to conduct the “Thanksgiving question game, aka, Ask the Americans.” Since most of our guests were Zambian, they didn’t have a solid idea of what the heck we were celebrating. Delightful questions were posed, such as “Why are we here?” and “Why do you eat turkey, I mean, why not duck?" My knowledge of Thanksgiving history is weak, but luckily Sara was bursting with info since her mother was obsessed with the pilgrims (who isn’t?!)
As in any good Thanksgiving party, we ended the night with a violent round of spoons. Katie and I placed first and second, respectively, decided by an arm-wrestling competition (draw) and finally an exhilarating round of rock, paper, scissors. Most of the apartment cleaned up nicely after the night of fun; however, our kitchen still smells like a combination of vomit, caterpillars and mildew. Delicious.