Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't believe the hype - The answer is blowing in the wind

They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Peru.  Duh.  (I can see some of you going "oh yeah, I guess not!")  The pilgrims didn't have lunch with the Indians on the western side of the South American continent.   So this year, it is imperative that I learn how to celebrate it in my heart with my new family and in our own way.  My hubs doesn't really dig the origins of Thanksgiving anyway (and neither do I fully, but that's a whole 'nother topic.  Especially since my ancestors are of European and Native American descent.)

They have beautiful "graffiti" all over Lima.  This was taken by BC from a taxi.
I won't bore you with what Thanksgiving should be about - we all have our own reasons.  But I've been reflecting on what I like about it- and frankly, what I miss.  Unfortunately, most things that I like about Thanksgiving are not in Peru.  Which then makes me further reflect on what I should TRULY value.

Here is what I like about Thanksgiving and how it will be different for me:

1.  Cold weather  
*NOT IN LIMA.  It is coming upon Spring here now.  Southern hemisphere.

2. Food.  I love the perfect ratio of dressing, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy and turkey all on one spoon in one bite.  
*FOOD IS DIFFERENT HERE.  They don't have turkeys on sale or stacks  of cranberry sauce piled up in grocery stores.  "Traditional" Thanksgiving food is hard to find except for lots of potatoes.
They do have this though. 
3. No presents 

4.  Thanksgiving hype - I like how the whole USofA gets collectively excited about the holidays rolling around.  I don't dig the Black Friday crap or the other marketing onslaughts, but I love the spirit of the season and the drive towards Christmas.  
*NOPE.  Not in Peru.  There is Christmas stuff everywhere now but it just feels totally different without having Thanksgiving be the kickoff.  

5.  Doing nothing all day
*NOPE.  I have to work.  This city and country roll right on through the day.  No existe.  

6.  Family.  For me this is usually at Petit Jean Mountain with the Byrds, Omar, the Prohls, and occasionally other random folks that need a place to spend the day.
*DIFFERENT.  For the first time, my present "family" is just us.  Bryan, Davis and me.  

And guess what I now understand and am embracing?  #1 through #5 don't mean anything.  The only thing that matters is Family.  Family Family Family.  That's all I need.  And I've got a great one.  I knew when I came here that holidays would be different.  I knew that I'd get some new perspective on my own customs and ideas.  This is one of them.   Perspective?  Check.  

More importantly, the best lesson I'm learning comes from the greatest little man in the world.  Davis.  He is so happy here.  He misses nothing (and has even told me this).  Most of the time all he cares about is being with his mommy and playing futbol.  I draw a lot of energy and inspiration from  his contentment here.  Him being happy and not caring about #1 through #5 or any other self-imposed tradition makes my life easier - and it is my hope, prayer and intention that because we are on this adventure, his life will always be easier too.

Of course, I'll miss my extended folks and parents and cousins and the tacky decor in the Petit Jean lodge, but they'll be there next year.  They'll all be on my mind on Thanksgiving day and are forever in my heart.  This year I'm just going to sit around my small kitchen table with my two handsome boys and eat something like chifa or ceviche or maybe even KFC since they deliver here.  It won't be cold outside and it will be after a long day of work and it'll be totally different.  But I'm going to love every minute of it.  

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all.

Just to throw you off a little, I'm sharing a slightly different style of music to honor a different style of celebrating Turkey Day.  Click HERE - and then since....

...most of you may not like that I'll offer another to close out the day.  It's arguably one of the best songs ever written and one of the greatest voices to touch a mic.  Listen to the WHOLE THING.  You are welcome.  Click HERE.


  1. You took a picture of Beer Chicken!!!!!! That makes me so happy!! Never ate there, but never failed to laugh when I passed by. Ah, Beer Chicken. Good memories.

  2. We have eaten there once, typical pollo a la brasa and kinda pricey. Prolly because it is in San Isidro. You're one of the few who would appreciate that. :-)