Thursday, November 19, 2015

That Time I Celebrated Thanksgiving at the Embassy

Donneschdeg, 19 November.

Last night was one of the coolest "Fulbrighter" experiences so far -- Thanksgiving at the U.S. Embassy!

Attendees at the Fulbright Thanksgiving Dinner included current American grantees in Luxembourg and former Luxembourgish grantees to the U.S.A. as well as staff members from both Fulbright and the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg. I had the opportunity to speak to several former Fulbrighters who had spent their year studying in the States, in everywhere from New York City to rural Wisconsin!

I had the privilege of being seated next to Alison Shorter-Lawrence, who since February 2015 has been serving as the temporary Chargé d'Affaires here in Luxembourg. (She had previously been in Luxembourg serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission.) In between bites of mashed potatoes and stuffing, I really enjoyed hearing a bit about her experiences in the State Department.

It is striking to me that the majority of people with whom I've interacted here, both at the U.S. Embassy and in the Fulbright Commission, have been women. I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many career role models!

I'm also thankful for FOOD. Although guests each brought side dishes and desserts, the embassy provided the key ingredients: turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. And, boy was it good!!

As delicious as it was, I am happy to report that this won't be my only Thanksgiving meal this year. One of the perks of being an American abroad in November is that Thanksgiving dinners seem to pop up left and right! (One of the Luxembourgish Fulbright alumni told us that he typically attends no fewer than three Thanksgivings ... and, given his time in America, is often expected to host.) Some of the other Fulbright grantees will be heading to Brussels next week for dinner at the home of the Deputy Chief of Mission, but I won't be able to make the trip.

Instead, I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner -- or at least some version of it -- for my housemates! I can assure you that the food will be neither as authentic nor as delicious and the plates not half so fancy. But I think it's going to be a fun time nonetheless! I really lucked out with my housing situation and I am very thankful for the kind, open-minded people with whom I was given the opportunity to live.

PS. All photos included in this blog post are courtesy of the U.S. Embassy Flickr account. (The embassy is not what I would describe as an Instagram-friendly environment, so I don't have any snapshots of my own.) Click to see these and more photos from the evening!

1 comment:

  1. I'm thankful you had some Thanksgiving foods that you love. We're going to miss you so much sitting at the table with us this year!