It is Sunday afternoon on Thanksgiving weekend. Normally our family would have spent the past several days with family, eaten way to much, watched/slept through some football games, played a little touch football, maybe done some shopping, and decorated our Christmas tree.
But this year, of course, has been different. So what did our American Thanksgiving look like in the Philippines? Well, first of all even though the calendar says it's the end of November - our brains are having a hard time believing it as we are still wearing shorts and t-shirts and sitting in front of the fan whenever possible. So, to get into the spirit of the holiday last weekend we had all the MKs (missionary kids) from our missions organization come to our house to make a few holiday crafts. The kids had a great time and were so creative in making Indian headbands, Thanksgiving placemats, and a "I'm Thankful For" tree. Afterwards I realized that my kids were the only ones in the bunch who have had any experience with Thanksgiving in the States. The others have either grown up in the Philippines or Canada.
Thanksgiving week was very busy - but not with my traditional holiday preparations. Instead, I worked three shifts in the clinic and birth room and had many other duties with our organization. When Thanksgiving day came around, several of the missionary families decided to take the kids fishing on one of the nearby islands. From what I hear, a grand time was had by all - I had night shift the night before, so I spent the morning sleeping peacefully in a nice, quiet house.
Thursday evening, we were invited by several of the single girls to join them in celebrating an evening of thanks. About 40 of us piled into their house and enjoyed quite a feast - complete with 13 pies - but missing the turkey, as they are hard to come by in these parts.
Friday morning we spent some time on Skype with our families, and then Nolan and I ran to the mall before my shift to purchase a Christmas tree....you can hold your breath for pictures of that one - since nothing in our lives is "traditional" at this point, neither is our tree. Anyway, I guess you could say we did a little shopping - but there were no Black Friday sales here. After that quick excursion it was back to the birth room for me.
Saturday evening all the families from our organization got together for one more celebration. More delicious food and nice company was enjoyed. I brought my Aunt Celia's famous sweet potato casserole - I thought you might be interested to see the closest things to sweet potatoes in the Philippines are camote potatoes - they turn purple when boiled. It was a little odd eating purple sweet potatoes - but they were still good!
I thought it was really funny when all the women ended up at one table and the men at another. I think the men may have planned it so they could avoid all the "birth" talk that goes with a bunch of midwives getting together. We also started a new Thanksgiving tradition - bobbing for apples - I've never done that before - it was quite fun!
This battle ended in a photo finish!
Today Nolan and the kids are at our regular Sunday afternoon outing with a large group of missionaries who get together to play volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and visit. Unfortunately all the celebrating this week means I'm behind on a few important things so I've opted to stay home and "be responsible".
So, all in all, our weekend was very enjoyable although it definitely looked a little different than in years past. But, like in years gone by, I still have so many things to be thankful for that I'm overwhelmed when I begin to count my blessings!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend - wherever you are and however you spent it! Blessings to you all!