I will be spending my American Thanksgiving with a non-American friend in Nairobi, before boarding the red eye to Joburg for a long layover. I am reposting Granny McCarley’s sweet potato pie recipe, found here. Finding it brought up other posts from past Thanksgivings. I had to laugh at the poor waitress who worked on the holiday and ate pie standing up in the employee kitchen and then the poor missionary who sat on the filthy floor of the cozinha with 1000 Mozambicans and ate the feast with her hands.
This Thanksgiving I will spend some of it with my new friend the taxi driver, Kim and may re-attempt to visit the Karen Blixen museum or have coffee with my friend at the Nairobi Java House at The Junction or attempt to fill my over stuffed carry on with Kenyan coffee from Nakumatt. There will be no sweet potato pie but there will be thankfulness.
A day in the slums of Mombasa, a week of cold showers and hot sleeps, three months traveling the continent of Africa, all make me thankful. We Americans haven’t a clue and I won’t preach. But if you have parents and know your birthday and it is celebrated in any way by anybody in your life, be thankful. If you don’t have to get up in the night and change your pajamas because you are soaked from sweat, be thankful. If you own pajamas, be thankful. If you worship Jesus Christ, Buddha or Muhammed without persecution or fear of losing your life, be thankful. If you ate berries in any variety or any form of dairy in the last two weeks, be thankful. If you drove on paved roads, put on a seatbelt, or drove the speed limit today, be thankful. If you walked outside at night, unarmed and unafraid, be thankful. If you ate three meals today, be thankful. If you drove to work instead of walking for an hour, be thankful. If stupid stuff like malaria, malnutrition, or diarrhea haven’t killed you or a family member, be thankful. If you have clean drinking water, be thankful. If you voted in a presidential election and you are fairly certain your vote was properly counted, be thankful.
This has been, and continues to be, a beautiful journey. It was an honor to see and play a tiny part in all that is being done in Cameroon, South Africa and Kenya. I was welcomed with open arms and I have changed and been inspired and humbled and impressed.
I am thankful for all of you, who pray for me and cheer me on and give of what you have.