The following is a blog post Jesse wrote in November 2007, while a Peace Corps volunteer in Azerbaijan. Holidays are so important to us, and it was so odd to be away from our families, friends, and traditions while we were in the Peace Corps. Looking back through this post and the photos a couple things come to mind: though things change over the years, the things we’re thankful for stay the same – friends, families, music, laughter, also it is shocking that none of us got sick from that turkey from who-knows-where, cooked in a oven with only an on/off switch.
Twas’ the week before thanksgiving and plans were being made
For a feast so grand that the memory would not soon fade
Volunteers were cooking and packing their food
And journeying to the capital in a festive mood
When, at last, the party had arrived
Our embassy friend flung his door open wide
All our friends came together in one great big room,
The odors of the villages cleansed and perfumed
First we told stories and caught up on old times
Then came the food and talking stopped on a dime
There was turkey and stuffing and green beans, OH MY!
We had soda and juice and even pumpkin pie!
Everyone ate ‘til they were ready to explode
And staggered back upstairs for the talent show
There was singing and dancing and stories galore
And one strange act that left everyone calling for more!
After the songs were sung and the story finally finished
The time came to go, with the spirit far from diminished
So we all made our way home, our bellies full
And everyone had good reason to be thankful.
This party took place the week before thanksgiving actually occurred, so we were left to prepare our own celebration on the day of. We all gathered at our friend Mike’s house and had our site mates Nate and Cindy over. Mike’s girlfriend Kate joined us from Ganja and our good Azeri friend Zamira joined us for her first ever Thanksgiving. We were lucky enough to find a frozen turkey at a local store (we believe it was imported from South America!) and we managed not to burn it! With some help from packages from the states we had mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake and green bean casserole.
Most of all I think we are finding that we are most thankful we have each other.