Thanksgiving week in America…the men are getting excited about football games, the women are mapping out their Black Friday shopping excursions, and the children are thrilled to be out of school. Thanksgiving week in Central Asia…well, you would never know it was Thanksgiving week, but that doesn’t keep American citizens living abroad from celebrating.
Last year we were in Almaty for Thanksgiving. We had only been overseas a few weeks and didn’t know much about cooking outside the United States. Turkeys and sweet potatoes are hard to come by in Central Asia, and although we did find out from other expats that they could be found in Almaty, we didn’t really have the language or knowledge of Almaty to get around to finding them. However, I’m still pretty impressed with what we and our other American friend managed to prepare for our Thanksgiving feast. We found a leg of lamb, researched how to cook it and Scott carved the lamb!
This year in Karakol, traditional Thanksgiving supplies are even harder to come by. Pumpkin is one thing that we can easily come by and I do have plans to make a pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread this week, but as far as everything else, I haven’t really thought about it. I do miss the traditional American way of celebrating: large families gathering and spending time together and remembering all the blessings we have in America (and let’s face it, stuffing our faces!), but I can also gather together my family here, share Thanksgiving with the friends we’ve adopted as family, and we can all be thankful for the many blessings we have no matter where we are physically located.