Thanksgiving...it isn't! / by Alan Strathman

Happy thanksgiving friends and family.  Of course today is not Thanksgiving Day here in St. Lucia.  But being outside of the US for Thanksgiving is kind of surreal.

First let me say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Of course it has nothing to do with the pilgrims, especially given what we now know about our treatment of Native Americans.  See this interview from the Huffington Post with my friend Sarah Shear, who is a social studies education scholar.

But rather I loved the fall / early winter, the fact that the school semester was mostly over, and the time I spent with my dad. Every year I would go to Tampa and spend the holiday with my dad who likes me to visit, in part, because my late November birthday falls around thanksgiving.

Here in St. Lucia today is a normal day.  But I decided to take the afternoon off.  I went into Vieux Fort, the town nearby that has a grocery store, and had thanksgiving lunch...at KFC. Chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw....I should have brought some cranberry sauce.  Then I purchased supplies for the thanksgiving dinner my PC cohort is having tomorrow.  We are all meeting in Jacmel, a town north of here for a thanksgiving celebration.  We are all excited for the occasion and it will be a wonderful way to spend my birthday evening. Then Saturday my cohort will join the previous year's volunteers along with some PC staff to have a second thanksgiving dinner. So I have a great weekend ahead.  

As I said, this has been a surreal time. I have cable TV and being so close to the U.S. I get the network feeds out of Miami and then most of the standard American cable channels.  Mind you, I also get some Caribbean stations, and even a station from Venezuela. But receiving American broadcasts means I see all the ads for Black Friday amid the accompanying media frenzy.  If I had been assigned to Mongolia, Madagascar, or Mozambique I wouldn't be witnessing the American Thanksgiving media onslaught from, what feels like, the other side of the fence.

But I was happy to take the afternoon off and the weekend ahead looks bright.  I hope you all had a good day.