Today we got Maggie - one of our American staff members - to write about a special American holiday and how they spent it in Ghana.
In the United States, every year the last Thursday in the month of November marks the day that Americans call “Thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving is a day to come together, share a delicious meal with friends and family and celebrate the blessings of the year. On a Thanksgiving table, you traditionally see a turkey that was seasoned meticulously and slow cooked with delicious bread stuffing inside, accompanied with a variety of side dishes like mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and what seems like endless desserts.
In Ghana, the last Thursday in November is just another day. With work commitments and 90-degree heat, it really did not feel like Thanksgiving! As sad as I was to miss a holiday at home, the idea of celebrating here in Ghana with new friends and coworkers was exciting. We’d spent months talking about Thanksgiving preparations, in fact it was even discussed before I even boarded my plane to Ghana! How would we make stuffing? The turkey? Pumpkin Pie? It was a lot to think about when turkeys are far and few between, not to mention we don’t even have a traditional oven. It was time to be creative and use all of the fresh ingredients Ghana has to offer! We purchased chickens from a local spot and pretended they were turkey, we found stuffing and gravy at one of the Obroni (White Person)
supermarkets, and we put a twist on mashed potatoes with mashed yams, yam salad, corn salad, corn bread, and rolls. Our guests arrived with drinks, fruit, and traditional dishes from their home countries. We had a cornucopia of food! For dessert we were able to make a pumpkin pie, a traditional favorite. We also had chocolate cake and a pudding biscuit. We were able to put together an impressive spread!
Our house was filled with delicious food and wonderful company, making for a lovely evening. Celebrating in a different country and sharing our tradition with people from all around the world, most of who have never experienced Thanksgiving, made it a very special Thanksgiving.