Thursday, December 1, 2011


Yes it's a real turkey in Senegal!

 On Thursday for Thanksgiving we were extended an invitation by an ex-pat/American family who lives here to join them with friends for a traditional meal. And of course what made it more interesting is that Lynnette is from the US, her husband Arnny from the Dominican Republic (by way of Dubai before Senegal), and their friends from Austria and Columbia (with some spouses sadly missed due to being temporarily out of the country) - an international Thanksgiving yet with all the Turkey day trimmings!  Truth is I wasn't sure what that was going to look like here - and yet Lynette and Arnny - did an amazing job to make it just so.  
Lynette told me that even the supermarket ensured a stock of  about 200 turkeys - which she quickly put her reserve order in considering they don't raise them here - remember "mouton" is king!. I'm not exactly sure where they were shipped in from but they looked like and surely tasted like a turkey should. We had a lovely sit down dinner with the china, sliverwear and napkins (I mention this for a reason) as well as being graced not only with the turkey, but the gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cornbread casserole, cornbread stuffing, salad, bread and wine - not to mention the engaging conversation had by all.
 The meal was scrumptious - but I still was aware of one thing missing - perhaps not by taste but likely because of the color palate - cranberries. They don't have them here. After feeling full of course there was enough room for dessert - of the Austrian fair - an apple strudel and chocolate tart (not pictured because I forgot to take one). Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie will have to wait until next year - as pumpkins nor pecans exist here either.
Don't bug us we are watching a movie
  I might add that Parker and Addison got a little extra goodie out of the visit - a chance to play a video game - you know the kind that boys like - where it's all violent - shooting, killing, bombing, maiming - what can I say - Arnny has a little girl - but he's opened the door for 2 more boys to hang out with. 
Opposite our Turkey day and just a few days later - I had to take Parker over to a friend in their class because he had forgotten his math book and needed to do his homework. In the same vain of generosity for Thanksgiving - all of a sudden Parker and I were asked to join the Senegalese family for Thieboudenne (click here for a blog I wrote about this national dish) served in a big platter on the floor. The minimalist approach to eating a meal together - everyone sits around the platter. Sometimes they eat with their hands (and bread but it depends on the meal I think). This time they did give everyone a spoon. It's a different communal way to eat and you are just scooping up the veggies and rice with your spoon and the mother is breaking up the fish pieces and kind of tossing them in the direction of where the person is sitting around the platter - there must have been about 10 or 12 people including me a Parker - I lost count. Lots of simple conversations in French for us but without a doubt  a memorable moment by all.
Balancing our life American and Senegalese style - our family I think has had the most incredible experiences here (and yes we are thankful for that)  that within a short span of time have totally juxtaposed each other in ways that I as a project manager could not even have orchestrated.


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