Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thanksgiving In Sagada

WOW! That's about all I can say about the holiday spent with about 25 other volunteers and friends in Sagada, Mt. Province. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do Thanksgiving this way! I started my treck on Tuesday morning with a trip to the Baguio City Public Market. My host sister went with me and stuck around with me while I shopped for lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, etc! I ended up getting about 20 kilos of vegetables that I had to get on a bus and travel 6 hours on a winding mountain road. What a morning!

Made it safe and sound to Tadian, Mt. Province. You'll remember that this was one of my first trips that I took when I first got to site 6 months ago. Spent the night with Rachel at her house. We decided to make a night of cooking a mexican dinner. We started out by boiling a TON of black beans to make refried beans. Then the chopping, slicing and cutting ensued. I was in charge of the onions which made me very teary eyed. We also made Spanish rice, salsa and homemade tortillas. You do not know how nice it was to have a familiar meal!

The next day we made the trip from Tadian to Sagada. We packed and walked up the huge hill to the market area where we waited for about a half hour in a van going to Bontoc. Rachel informed me that there is a fork in the road in which we get off that we wait for another vehicle to take us to Sagada. So we did all this and ended up on an almost empty jeepney. Let's just say that I don't think I've been on a bumpier road in my life. At one point we flew almost a half a foot off the bench all while a filipina was trying to carry on a conversation with us! After we got checked into the pension everyone was staying, we decided to walk into town. On the way we took a hike to a viewpoint of some of the hanging coffins. It was amazing to see how several stone coffins were wedged into the side of the mountain. Next time I'll definately have to take the longer tour!

Thursday morning, we woke up to the large task of making Thanksgiving dinner with one small stove and a tiny oven. Everyone was ready and willing to peel 30 kilos of potatoes (ok, we had that much, but didn't use them all!), chop veggies and mix whatever there was to be mixed. One of the PCVs had arranged some Filipinos to help with the meal. They were incharge of killing 5 wild turkies and roasting them. I think we started everything at about 10 in the morning and got ready to sit and eat at 6pm! We had everything...except the pumpkin pie, but a great substitute of some of the most tastiest apple pie I've ever had. After dinner, there was videoke and if I don't say so myself, I have a mean rendition of Build Me Up Buttercup. AWESOME!

After a late night, I woke up to a beautiful morning. Rachel and I transferred to a Peace Corps Volunteer's house for the night to crash. In the afternoon, I received a call from home. I got to talk to so many people!!! Thanks for the call mom, dad, Charley, Fran, Grandma, Uncle Dan, and Aunt Sue!!! It was so good to talk to so many people from home. Hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving and a good kickoff into the holiday season.