(Photo taken by Jess Trane)
My thanksgiving in Ghana was one of the best I’ve ever had. I began the day at City of Refuge, the orphanage I work at. Stacy and Johnbull, the founders, organized a thanksgiving dinner for everyone. Stacy is from the US and they both lived there for some time, so they wanted to share Thanksgiving with the kids. We played with the kids for a few hours before the food was ready and then feasted on a mix of American and Ghanaian food. The children each stood in front of everyone and said what they were thankful for and then Johnbull prayed over the food, as they do at every meal. We ate turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole, as well as goat kebabs, rice, and fufu.
After the delicious meal, we got a ride from Johnbull to a tro-tro station. We got on a tro-tro and headed for home. We made it home just in time for me to skype with my family back in the States. All of the Magiers were at my dad’s house, so I got to say hi to everyone and wish them a happy Thanksgiving.
Then it was time for the Thanksgiving meal that NYU organized. In the courtyard of Church Crescent, the dorm I live in, there were fancy tables set up with lights and a tent and a DJ with an excellent taste in music. Everyone got dressed up. Scrambling in front of the mirror just before the meal began, I squeezed myself into a dress that I had made here. That’s one of my favorite things about living in Ghana – the ability to custom tailor clothes made from fabric that you buy at the market for a very low price. Mine was a white tube dress with gold dots and brown and orange flowers. I felt like I was going to prom, with my hair slicked back, my heels on, and my make-up done just right. Of course, that didn’t last long. The moment I sat down the zipper on my dress broke. I quickly ran to change, and made it back just as the microphone was being passed around for us all to say what we were thankful for. Mostly we all talked about the amazing semester we have had together in Ghana. There were some touching moments where I thought I might cry, but in the end I held it together. The meal was excellent. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and an assortment of desserts. My friend Sam and I had made a peach and pear cobbler the day before to add to the collection.
After dinner the DJ pumped up the volume and everyone (including the program director, the CRAs, and even the bus drivers) got up to dance. My friends and I had added a few gin sachets (yes, even gin comes in sachet form) to our drinks during the meal. It was my friend Kate’s birthday, so after about an hour or two of dancing we went into her house and crashed on the couches. We drank, we relaxed, and we played with balloons. The best part, however, was the slumber party. Because it was Kate’s birthday, and it was Thanksgiving, and we were all getting sad about leaving in 2 weeks, we brought four mattresses out into the living room and had the best slumber party of my life. After a day of food and dancing, what could be better?