An Ivorian Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is indisputably my favorite holiday. Determined to celebrate even though I'm in Abidjan, I decided I would have an Ivoirian Thanksgiving at my school, Collège Moderne de Cocody. Last week, I told the ~60 students in my English club all about Thanksgiving, its problematic history, its persisting virtues, and how we celebrate it in the United States. Then I asked each student to bring an Ivoirian dish to our next English club so that we could all celebrate the holiday together.

It was VERY unclear if the students understood what I was saying, and even less clear if any of them would follow through. In fact, when I came into school this morning with my own dishes, I had a sinking feeling that the event would be a bust: no other faculty had brought food, I was asking for a fair amount of extra-curricular participation from 10-14 year olds, and it turned out that English club was going to be delayed an additional hour and a half today because of standardized testing. Not good.

But miracles happen ...

I walked into the classroom after school today and found ONE HUNDRED students waiting to celebrate Thanksgiving, and 5 whole tables of food that they had brought for the occasion! Each individual dish would have only fed about 3 students, but when we pooled all of our contributions together we actually had enough to feed all 100 kids!

THIS is what Thanksgiving is all about! Providing what you can, sharing it with others, and appreciating the bounty of generosity!

I am so, so thankful to be in Côte d'Ivoire; I am so thankful for these incredible students who bring me joy each and every day; and I am so thankful for my family - both old and new. Here's a video I made of some of the photos/footage from today. Hope you can feel the joy! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone xx

Until Next Time,