Saturday, November 29, 2014

Memories of Fisi Thanksgiving Gratitude

Throughout the day yesterday, here in the States, I couldn’t help but think about (and miss) what Thanksgiving had been last year, in the field. It was very different in many ways, but more importantly, it was heartwarmingly similar in all the most important ways.

We had pumpkin pie making…or rather, ‘pumpkin pie themed dessert experimenting’. It was a great moment of field improvisation.
·      No pie pan? No problem, grab the square pan.
·      No butter? Worry not – we have the Vitamin A Enriched Medium Fat Spread lovingly known as BlueBand.
·      No pumpkin? When you have butternut squash, who cares?
·      No measuring cups? Who wants to be that predictable?
Jackson and Julie making our butternut squash pie

Julie and Hadley cutting out the designs to top the pie.

The most memorable part of the pie was a crust cut-out of Navajo’s head, to celebrate her then recently passed 21st birthday…you don’t see that on most pumpkin pies in the States.

We had fresh baked bread…that we would have broken together if the monkeys hadn’t gotten to it first.

We had an abundance of friends gathered – around the kitchen (of course, isn’t it always the social hub of the ‘house’?)

Most importantly, we had family, and what more could you ask for on a holiday? We had a shared meal, dancing, and even ‘home videos’ of impersonations done by Benson and Wilson.

Pre-feast dancing (Photo: Julie Turner)
Watching home videos at Thanksgiving (Photo: Julie Turner)
Looking back on my Thanksgiving last year, I remember so distinctly the feeling of being home, surrounded by friends, and overflowing gratitude. This year, as I gave thanks, the guys at our camp, and our whole Fisi family were high on my list – for keeping us alive over the year, for feeding us and keeping camp maintained, and for being our family, for making camp a home in which we could celebrate and experience the joy of the holiday seasons.

P.S. Our hyenas didn’t miss Thanksgiving either, however; when you have an animal that can eat 1/3 of its body weight in a single feeding, the post-feast experience is impressively more rotund.

Peebles, obese (Photo: Phoebe Parker-Shames)

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