It was an old-fashioned, homestyle Thanksgiving in the north of Thailand. All of the ZOE missionaries and their families were on hand to celebrate this quintessential American holiday. And we have so much to be thankful for!
It was a bit unusual because we observed the holiday on Saturday, November 26th. That’s because all the kids were in school on Thursday – and they didn’t even have turkey for lunch, they had lap kai. Speaking of turkey, many of our friends asked if we had turkey on Thanksgiving. Yes, indeed! But it almost didn’t happen. Thai’s aren’t fond of turkey. They told us that turkey’s are “too ugly” to eat. OK, this is from folks who love to munch down on some nice grubs and beetles. Normally I’m all in favor of “when in Rome do as the Romans” but … not on Thanksgiving! But I digress. Because turkeys aren’t a regular menu item here, they are imported to specialty stores. An average size butterball was going for 1,500 Thai baht or U.S. $50. So we almost opted for chicken instead. So it was a real blessing and another big reason to be thankful when a very kind woman back in America heard we weren’t having turkeys and generously sent several hundred dollars to our founders with strict instructions that the money be used for Thanksgiving turkey for all the missionaries.
Of course there was a lot of great food, including some Hawaii-style favorites: spam musubi and 7-layer Jello. Cissy made her Mom’s famous vegetable gravy and it was so ono over the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing!
When all the missionaries and their families get together, we number about 40. So finding a place large enough to assemble was a task. We ended up renting a room at the Night Safari, a very popular attraction here in Chiang Mai. It was such a great deal and included admission to the zoo grounds. The kids (and some of the adults) had a blast after lunch checking out the elephants, tigers, giraffes and other exotic animals. There is also a cool playground and an interactive technology center for the kids.
All in all it was a wonderful day. Being able to do what we do here in Thailand at the ZOE Children’s Homes made possible through the love and support of so many of you truly makes every day one of thanksgiving for the Boyer Ohana!