Koreans don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving like we do. Well, they do have a week of something similar called Chuseok (this year 주석 happened right after we moved here in late September).
The students that attend the DoDEA Schools here have 4 days off and most of the military personnel also enjoy their longer break. But…. the Soldiers and crew who work at the DFAC don’t have that luxury. Here’s our discussion about that as we head on over to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal.
Most spouses I’ve talked to here at Camp Walker, Camp Henry and Camp George are either headed to the DFAC, the Evergreen, or a friend’s house for Thanksgiving. We opted for the DFAC this year because just 2 days ago we received our HHG (House hold goods shipment from the United States) and we have a lot of unpacking to do this weekend. So no guests for us just yet! It’s nice to go somewhere and have great tasting food with zero cleanup!!! The only downfall is once our to-go plate is gone…. that’s it. 😦 (Yes, the DFAC had to-go plates available! This was a great idea for those that needed to head off to shift or maybe just would rather go back to their own spaces to enjoy their ‘like home’ meal there.)
Thanksgiving is about tradition too…
So above was actually our first family Thanksgiving dinner, but yesterday I was able to celebrate with my husband’s co-workers while the kids were in school.
Even though it was my first time in their work space and the first time most of them met me, I did get asked to ‘bless the food’ before anyone ate. Someone there recognized me from post chapel and asked me if I would do it. I was surprised but honored to do pray in their space. I am thankful for the leaders at his workplace that they would begin the meal with prayer and that they would invite the families over to share a meal together with them in the office. It was good to just spend a little time getting to know one another.
I noticed that many of the single or geo-bachelor (their family lives apart from them due to their assignment in South Korea) Soldiers decided to spend most of their time with the other single Soldiers. I didn’t really get to interact with them and so that made be think a lot about those who were here without their family. I am thankful that we got to come with our Soldier; I bet this starts the time where many may begin to miss being back at home. Thanksgiving is typically the time of year that Americans go to share a meal with their family members, even if it seems obligatory, they do it anyway. Of course, that’s just impossible for most of us here to be with our extended or even immediate family so I am so very thankful for those who open up their spaces for people to come and join in with their people.
In fact, tonight, I got to go over to a new friend’s house who opened up their home to the ladies who come out for Bible study on Thursday nights. I figured since it’s where I would have been anyway, why not go on out? It was a great time!!
Maybe next year, or next season, we’ll be able to open our space and share whatever we have for someone else.
If you also celebrate Thanksgiving, what traditions did you observe this year?