Tuesday, December 2, 2008

dia de los pavos (turkey day)

Happy Thanksgiving (now belated)! Hope everyone had a great day of food, friends, and family. I’m going to go ahead and guess that most of you did not spend your Thanksgiving poolside the way I did… suckas. (Granted, it rained all afternoon so I didn’t swim much, but it was still a pleasant location.)

The PCDR Thanksgiving committee spent a long time organizing our festivities, which took place at a country club in the capital and involved enough American Thanksgiving-style food for 100+ people, a dominoes tournament, a dance contest, and a talent show. It also involved a fair amount of drinking, so by the time the talent show rolled around…well, let’s just say it was an entertaining event. The country club’s restaurant waiter also put on an awesome show every time someone tried to cut through the restaurant (which was open air and poolside) between the pool and the locker room (which, being in the DR, was disappointingly cold water-only, despite being in a pretty nice club). Some friends and I spent a couple hours sitting at one of the tables, playing travel Scrabble and watching the poor dude flip out and explain, in an increasingly put-upon fashion, that it was forbidden to walk through the restaurant without a shirt on. A lot of the other volunteers were resentful of this Shirt Nazi, although I’m pretty confident that behind this waiter must have some even more forceful manager who terrorized the waiter in the same way that the waiter terrorized the post-pool volunteers…there’s no way anyone cares that much about restaurant dress codes without some kind of outside coercion.

Anyway, dress code aside, it was a little strange to have our fun, giant meal and know that soon we would return to our little towns in this little impoverished nation. Of course, it’s true that in America we have our family feasts within miles of people who don’t know where their next meal will come from, but here in the DR the disparity is more obvious. Our country director led a Thanksgiving toast: That one day everyone in the world may enjoy what we have now. It’s just something to keep in mind, I suppose. It’s nice to take time out to be thankful, but it’s hard to think about the fact that the things we’re grateful for often come at the expense of the developing world. (NOTE: sorry to be a big Debbie Downer. I promise not to even talk about the meat industry ;) ) I guess what I’d really like to promote is a more active Giving of Thanks; not only should we acknowledge what we have to be grateful for, but we should all do more to see that everyone has something for which to be grateful. Also, I don’t think that this should be limited to the last Thursday of November. Anyway, I sense that by now many people still reading this are tired of my hippie shit, so I’ll cut this short. … In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make?? (That was encore hippie shit, in case you weren’t tired of it yet.)

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