I was pretty homesick by the time we got back to the apartment. It was Thanksgiving back home, and my mind kept traveling around the world to my friends and family in Canada. I gave myself a few minutes to sulk (not many, I promise), then put on some music, unpacked our bag of groceries, and got to work. We put the world’s smallest chicken in the oven, and I peeled potatoes into a pot, put water on for peas, and started simmering the lingonberries (even better than cranberries). Eric set the table and made the gravy, which was no easy task with only two extremely salty mixes to work with and some Russian instructions that weren’t much help. I mashed the potatoes; he carved the bird. (And yes, that is peanut butter on the table. We found some!!)
After dinner, we visited some new friends and listened to a woman who, by all accounts, was born to sing. With six of us around the table in her small kitchen, she sang the songs of her Chukchi clan and explained that she is the only person on earth who can still sing them. .
I told her about Thanksgiving, which she translated as “The Day of Thank You.” Yes, I said, The Day of Thank You. That’s it.
We are far away from home, but not in spirit. This one goes out to those we love.
Photo by Eric Guth.