My first turkey.

We are thankful.

We are thankful for being here.

We are thankful for being here together.

I made my first thanksgiving turkey yesterday. It was not a complete disaster.

The kitchen in this apartment is designed for one of the seven dwarves. Most likely grumpy because that’s the only way I feel when I’m inside. It is so small I can’t even turn 45 degrees without breaking anything. My tally is 4 glasses and a plate so far. That’s an average of 1 item a week and I haven’t even lived here that long.

As holiday season approaches and families back home started to get together for thanksgiving, I became a little daunted by what I’ve gotten myself into traveling far away from home. At times this week, I was definitely thinking about home more than usual.

Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate being with family and enjoy a delicious meal together. For this, it’s one of my favorite holidays. However, yesterday I was really lucky yesterday to be able to get together with friends–old and new. I cooked a turkey with the help of Ollie Klingenstein and Elliot Taft, two fellow Americans who have been traveling and working on ranches in South America. I introduced the magic of thanksgiving to three awesome Argentinians.

Back in early October, I got a message from Eliot. He knew I was going to be in South America sometime towards the end of this year so he wrote me, saying that he and Ollie were going to meet me in Buenos Aires for Thanksgiving. I laughed it off there, understanding the flakiness of travelers. Plans change, you meet people, find out about new places–anything can happen–so I wasn’t entirely convinced that we were actually going to cross paths. But they made it happen.

Ollie, a rugby teammate taking a semester off college to get learn from the winds and sands of Central and South America, came in on a flight from Lima at 5 in the morning. We caught, shared stories of our travels so far, then went later that afternoon to pick up Eliot at the ferry terminal who was coming in from Montevideo after working at a dude ranch for a couple of months.

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We walked around, I showed them a place to get a 60 cent sausage sandwich, which is likely what kept me bent over the toilet, fully emptying my stomach for the next day. We went shopping, very lucky to find a turkey.

Pumpkin pie is easily my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, but pumpkin pie producing products were no were to be found. Emily Norton hooked it up with a sweet potato pie…we never tried it. It’s still in the fridge. The other Argentine twist to the meal was replacing cranberry sauce with a pear/fig marmalade. Its harder, and usually used to compliment crackers and cheese. Adding some water, it made a great substitute though.

We had a blast cooking all day, listening to CCR, Zac Brown Band, Trampled by Turtles, and a whole lot of other music to make us feel at home. Unfortunately we missed out on some key events: no football, no catch in the back yard, and no post dinner dog walks. But, it was great to be connected with good friends and to share the holiday with new ones. Thanksgiving this year was different, but absolutely memorable.

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