Thanksgiving was an interesting experience for the group this year, but by the end of it, most of us ranked it as our favorite Thanksgiving ever.
On Thanksgiving Thursday, the crew was busily exploring Santa Cruz, another island in the archipelago. We spent a week there, having a great time. Unfortunately, because we didn’t have a kitchen at the hotel, we had hamburgers at a local restaurant for our Thanksgiving celebration. As emails poured in from family and friends describing delicious Thanksgiving feasts, we realized that we needed to do better than burgers and fries.
As soon as we got home, we requested use of the University’s kitchens for Census Sunday and placed an order for twenty-eight lobsters. Ecuador held a census this year but, rather than counting their citizens through the mail, sent out individuals to visit each home (on a single Sunday) to count. This meant that locals and tourists alike were not allowed to be on the streets that day, but rather had to stay in their homes or hotels from dawn to dusk. As University students, we were permitted to stay on the campus as long as we arrived before they started counting and remained locked away until they were done. Punishment for being caught out in the streets that Sunday was three days in jail. Thankfully we all made it on time and nobody had to receive their Thanksgiving dinner through cell bars.
The boys took charge of the kitchen with gusto, commanding an authority that had us ladies sitting around twiddling our thumbs. Many of us chose to use this time to exchange photos we had taken throughout the trip. We also exchanged music, played games, watched movies, played guitar, dyed Krista’s hair in the small University bathroom’s sink, and patiently sat as Kaitlin straightened or curled our hair, affecting the opposite of our typical hair-do. This, of course, meant that Kaitlin set my normally straight-as-an-arrow hair into perfect blond ringlets, perfectly accented by my Indian headdress. We, in another fit of boredom, made pilgrim and Indian hats for the crew to wear at dinner. It was a wonderful, wonderful time as we each stood and told what we were thankful for, most especially each other and the awesome opportunity we had been presented with in visiting this wonderful location.
Our Thanksgiving celebration ended with all of us watching the sun set over the tropical beach and crashing waves right across the street from the University. It will definitely go down as one of my most memorable, special Thanksgivings.