Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving Thanks in Liberia

On Thursday evening at the 16th Street apartments, I had the pleasure of sharing (and preparing) perhaps the most delicious and bountiful Thanksgiving meals ever to be enjoyed by 30+ internationals in Monrovia, Liberia.

The meal capped off a glorious day-and-a-half marathon of cooking and working (mostly emailing while bread baked and turkeys roasted). Preparing for the meal had been most unconventional, but everyone’s efforts (and the good fortune of snagging the last three turkeys that the Grand Prix Grocery store had to offer) resulted in what felt like an evening in the States for one of the greatest holidays.

In fact, our Thanksgiving table was complete with turkeys and gravy, potatoes of all kinds, cornbread stuffing (both veggie, and turkey filled), grilled veggies, cranberry sauce (usually the hardest thing to find over seas) and a slew of desserts.

As we hunkered down for round two, one of my roommates made a valiant efforr to start the “I am thankful for…” game – you know, when everyone goes around the table and lists one thing for which they’re inspired to give thanks.

The table was long, and mouths were full, so the game didn’t make it very far. But, looking through pictures of this night, and the past few months, I felt it appropriate to devote a post to the “I am thankful game.”

Note: Many are Turkey-Day related, some are most random, a few are cliché, and all are sincere

1: I am thankful for a city where many of the cars that pass have steering wheels on the right side of the car… and others are just as likely have them on the left. (Random, I know, but endlessly amusing)

2: I am thankful that IS the bread I baked on Wed night FINALLY dried enough to be used in stuffing the next evening. Note: the air is so humid that it took 36 hours, and to keep the bugs away I dangled the bread, hanging from a colander, from our kitchen (picture below)

3: I am thankful for turkey roasters in Liberia

4: … and for pizza amuse bouche.

5: The comfort of spacious apartments, in a city so congested, where so many have so little for themselves….

6: …. and for friends to fill the room and share the table.

7: The chance to learn so much from such talented and generous minds.
(this is a picture from one of the many days of training that Clinton Foundation has facilitated)

8: And, for talented, guitar-playing roommates.

9: The chance to see the sun set over the Atlantic….

10: And, for those reading at home, having seen the sun rise over those same waters.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

1 comment:

Sean P. O'Connor said...

Hi. I just ran into your blog during a Google Blog search of the word "Liberia". Why was I doing that search? It's a long story involving school, computer programming, and, well...Liberia. Anyway, glad to hear you enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving meal. I just wanted to drop a note to say hello. I am a director of a small US-based organization called FUEL Youth ( that support education in rural Liberia. Check out our page sometime. Stay well!