I am from a family of incredible cooks. Although my mom, dad, and sister have never pursued a profession in culinary arts, they have a natural talent in all things food. Thanksgiving is no exception. If you ever come to my house for Thanksgiving, you can expect three different kinds of stuffing, two variations on mashed potatoes, a turkey I can’t even address with proper justice, and every other festive dish imaginable. This year was my first time away from home for Thanksgiving, and I knew it was approaching, but I actually forgot until a friend reminded me the day before. Buenos Aires in November is summer heat and schoolwork in full swing, and Thanksgiving is obviously not celebrated. On Thursday morning I arrived at school for a day of classes like any other. I was a little sad to not enjoy the company of my family and our annual feast, but it would have felt odd to have the day off for a celebration no one else in Argentina was observing. When I got out of class at 5 PM, I headed to a ritzy riverside bar to enjoy the good weather with friends. We spent an hour or so there before heading back to the academic center for the Thanksgiving dinner the NYU BA staff had put on us. Sidenote: I’ve fully accepted the fact that we students are the babies of the staff, and they provide us with the most thoughtful resources and events. For example, when we had to get our visas in the beginning of the semester, they told us about five times that they would shuttle us to the office, but then we were “on our own” on the way back. Upon arrival on visa day, they supplied each of us with little folders with copies of our passports, details on what to say, and a map of how to get back home with options to take the bus or subway and their personal cell phone numbers should we get lost. Anyways, on Thanksgiving night, we entered the Academic Center to a room beaming in fall decór. A display the size of me of pumpkins, sunflowers, and other autumn plants stood proudly in the corner. The banister was taken over by orange and yellow balloons, and each table had an elaborate fall-time centerpiece. Our student life directors proudly welcomed us, and I felt grateful for the effort they had put into making us feel at home.
Although dinner was not my family Thanksgiving tradition, (they didn’t have any stuffing!!) I was happy to celebrate the holiday with my peers. I’m not close friends with all 60 members of our program, but we still feel like family, especially on that night. Our table decided to go around before eating and say what we were grateful for, and all of our contributions included a clause in which we expressed gratitude to be able to travel here. For me at least, this year was the first that I had an opportunity such as being here to be thankful for, which made the holiday special in a different way than the usual. Considering most of us spent much of the day thinking about how the holiday was going at home, I think we were all also pretty grateful to have places and people to miss. I think when I’m back amongst those things, I’ll miss being here, too.