As the days before Thanksgiving approached I knew I wanted to acknowledge the holiday in some manner. We knew a full out Thanksgiving feast would not be possible but we would come as close as we could. I spoke with Mrs. Harriet, the chef, about what our family usually did for Thanksgiving. She helped me and the other ladies at the house create a lunch menu that we were excited about.
Cranberry sauce, yes you can find it in Africa. It is not in the shape of a can with the little ripples, the way I am used to it but it is still cranberry sauce. You can’t have Thanksgiving without it. The three families that celebrated Thanksgiving in Africa together enjoyed a feast. It did not constitute a Thanksgiving feast by American standards but after three months in Africa it was as good as it got. We had meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, the before mentioned cranberry sauce, green beans, cornbread dressing, deviled eggs, and banana pudding for dessert. We were happy, satisfied, and thankful. As we set on the long simple wooden table and enjoyed our feast I could not help but look at the all cocoa colored faces around the table. Those faces are what we were truly thankful for. There were four precious Ugandan children celebrating their first of many Thanksgiving feasts.
As we enjoyed our day together I thought I would be sad to see my family celebrating with their usual celebration. But I wasn’t. I was right were I wanted to be, I was doing what God had called me to do and that is where I wanted to be, that was home.
I am grateful for our surrogate family that gathered around our table on Thanksgiving. There were no festive decorations, no fancy table linens, no fine china, and no turkey. But there was a family, four perfect children, and love, a lot of love.