Friendsgiving Feasts


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because it revolves around being with family, friends, and food. I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My new Global Health Corps family. The opportunity to live, learn, and work abroad. A welcoming community teaching me their language and culture. Wonderful new friends to explore a new country with. A hometown settled in the beautiful Rwenzori mountains. A new sister and brother-in law. My first niece/nephew on the way (did I mention my sister is pregnant!!). My health. And most importantly, a supportive family, boyfriend, and friends back home who not only understand, but are happy for me, even though I have left for a year.

Some of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving are usually waking up early to watch the Macy’s Day Parade and smelling the turkey in the oven; helping my mom stir the gravy; sharing a big meal with family and friends; the plethora of desserts; getting sleepy and watching a holiday movie together; and eating leftover turkey sandwiches for days. This year was the third time I have been out of the country for Thanksgiving and away from those that I’m closest to and traditions I’ve grown up with. But even when abroad, I’ve found that friends (American or otherwise) always join together as a pseudo-family to cook a feast at our homes away from home (I thought I was so clever cooking brussels sprouts when I was living in Brussels). This year was no different…

On the actual day of Thanksgiving, my favorite (and only) little café in town, Jambo, created a feast for all the expats around. Though it is a cooperative run by a group of six Ugandan women, a British woman has taught them how to prepare “Western dishes,” like vegetable fajitas and cinnamon rolls, that are quite a hit. On Thanksgiving, they served: tomato soup & rolls, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potato, peas, stuffing, chicken, pumpkin pie, and vanilla ice cream. Though nothing tasted exactly like my mom’s cooking, it was all homemade and all delicious!

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Then, the following Saturday, my house hosted a potluck lunch for several of our friends. There were only 3 Americans in total (including myself), but everyone got in the holiday spirit and cooked something different to share. Our menu was: garlic mashed potatoes & gravy, mac & cheese, pasta salad, cassava cheese, an Indian chick pea dish, roasted chicken, banana bread, and s’mores! A big thanks to some kind family and friends for sending us a few critical ingredients like velveeta, marshmallows, and gravy mix. Om nom nom…

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If you’re wondering why we didn’t eat turkey… they’re all huge here. Wouldn’t exactly fit in our toaster oven like the chicken did!


And since I’m on the topic of food, I’ll leave you with this tasty tidbit. It’s grasshopper season in Kasese…


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