As you well know, last Thursday was American Thanksgiving. And since we are surrounded by Americans we had the lovely privilege of celebrating with yet another big party. It was a fantastic day. And I took a lot of photos to share with you.
The Drakes (Adam and Faith) hosted us all at their home. I think with all of us on the TNT, there are 25 people right now. Adam and Faith decorated their house and it looked lovely. Here are Jody, Faith and Janice getting all the food on the table. They wanted me to tell you that the three of them prepared all of this food themselves, but as you can tell by their faces, they knew it was a bold-faced lie.
We had turkey with all the fixings. The team that was just here from Indiana (shout out to College Park -- we love you guys!) brought us TWO REAL turkeys. They packed them as their "carry-on" in a cooler that was duct-taped shut and the two birds arrived solidly frozen. The funny part is, the Togo team left it up to the two Canadians on the team to actually cook the birds. That was risky.
In the next two photos, you have can see a taste test going on. Janice and I made home-made gravy from the turkey drippings and some kind soul brought us two jars of Williams-Sonoma gravy mix. We decided to put Williams-Sonoma to the test. Most of us had two little mounds of mashed potatoes on our plates so that we could taste test which gravy was better....
I'll have you know that BOTH were good, but really, you can't beat homemade gravy from freshly roasted turkey. Yum!
Here's the table spread with food. Those are Emily's famous stuffing balls.
Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for. And one of those things is that we have team-members who can COOK!
And here's Nate's plate. It's beautiful. AND it's international. The turkey is from the USA, the cranberry sauce is from Ghana, the potatoes are from Canada, the green beans are from Lome, the stuffing balls are from right here in Mango, the buns are fresh from Janice's kitchen and the corn casserole is from Faith's kitchen but I don't know where the corn is from. Probably NOT Togo.
The adult table!
The kid table! (Yes, John and Nate are at the kid table.)
John couldn't make it past lunch without a little nap.
We hung out at the Drakes all day. We all know that the best part of turkey dinner is making turkey sandwiches later in the day! (Adam calls them Big Nasties). So here's the gang eating our SECOND meal at the Drakes, and watching a football game. Like a real, American football game.
Our fearless team leader ready to scarf a deviled egg.
Adam and Faith brought a projector and so we could all watch the game on a large screen. Just like home (except it was about 100 degrees inside and out!)
It was a fantastic day! And in keeping with American traditions, we decided to decorate for Christmas the next morning. This turned out to be a happy-sad event. The kids and I dragged out our HUGE collection of Christmas decorations and it took us all of six minutes to get it displayed.
Now you can see what our place looks like for Christmas.
We changed the wreath.
Put out a Christmas candle on a red-green-and white table cloth on our coffee table.
Here's a close up of our favourite scented candle for Christmas, this photo is for my sister. While we were decorating, I lit this candle and put on the Christmas music. Next thing I know the house smelled of Christmas at home. Then right after that, the music was off and the candle was blown out. I asked who did it. Kylie. She said it was too much to have the smell and sound of Christmas -- too much for her little heart! It made her miss home, so we continued decorating in the heat of Africa without music or scent.
I think this is the first time I've decorated for Christmas and
1. it's taken me six minutes to complete the job
2. I've been in a full sweat after the six minutes. It was hot!
Our little african basket of north american candy canes. The two cultures collide!
My mom sent me this cute tree. It's on our dining room table with a lovely red, green and black plaid table cloth that I got in Kara.
And here's our African carved nativity set. I got this at a boutique right here. It's pretty cute. The angel is a bit scary but other than that, we like it.
Tinsel garland on the white board and windows...
We have so much to be thankful for! What a great time of year to remember to be grateful. And what do we have to be thankful for???
1. Neighbours who show up with a NEW BABY! Here's Odile with her brand-new daughter, Ixosir (pronounced Ex-O-say).
2. Cute puppies that are growing. (And that will sleep beside you while you do science homework)
3. A beautiful country to experience and enjoy.
And much much more....