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December 1, 2010

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, otherwise known as "Food Christmas" is by far my favorite holiday of the year.  I love everything about it (except washing dishes).  I love the large family gatherings, card playing, and laughter.  I love the feast of turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, giblets and gravy, and all kinds of pie.  I love watching the Detroit Loins and Dallas Cowboys.  I even love the idea and history behind the holiday.  The first Thanksgiving involved people groups from different continents and cultures who ate and drank together and thanked God for the blessing of food and life after a difficult year.

This past weekend we chose to travel by bus to Encarnacion, about 5 1/2 hours away, instead of celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving.  We made the trip with our friends and neighbors Nick and Maraliz.

Nick and Mara looking through Lonely Planet on the bus to Trinidad.
Encarnacion is a small city across the Rio Paraná from Posadas, Argentina.  Encarnacion is known for being a gateway to the ruins of several large Jesuit missions in Trinidad and Jesús.

Part of the Encarnacion bus terminal.
Our second day in the city we took a short bus ride to see the ruins for ourselves .  It was quite breathtaking.  To me it felt like a holy place.  Standing in the remains of the cathedral, I was struck by the beauty of the remains and the enormity of the history.

 
   

After seeing the ruins in Trinidad, we walked to the crossroads and took a cab to the town on Jesús to see ruins there.


After our day of visits to the ruins, we took the day to see the city of Encarnacion.

The view of Encarnacion from our hotel room.  Argentina is on the other side of the river.


We took a cab to the border between Argentina and Paraguay and walked along the bridge for some pictures. 



We then took the same cab to the Plaza de Armas to see the town park and walk to the parade grounds of the Carnival.  At the plaza we purchased gifts for family members.  Mara got into conversation with the lady making the gifts.  She continued to work on the items we purchased while we ate lunch.  When we returned, she had made a small gift for Mara and Cassie and invited us to return in a few hours to share some tereré.

We did not have a turkey feast, we ate Chinese food.  Instead of being surrounded by family, we shared a hotel room with new friends.  We did not go to a church, we walked through the ruins of a cathedral.  Though Thanksgiving was completely different from any in my past, it was also more like the one the Wampanoags and Pilgrims experienced.  We also found it difficult to adjust to new people places, surroundings, and new languages thousands of miles from family and the comfort of the familiar.  Instead of sharing a feast, we shared terere with a family from a different culture and on a completely new continent after a difficult year.

2 comments:

  1. Mike Eubanks (Dad)December 1, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Great story and pic! We missed you at the Thanksgiving table this year. Although, it sounds like you have a meaningful holiday - one you will always remember.

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  2. Brenda Eubanks (Mom)December 1, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Knowing that you love Thanksgiving above all other holidays, hated to think of you two not being here - for our sakes as well as yours. What a good idea! The trip sounds (and looks) amazing. I like your perspective of relating to the Pilgrim's sense of also being far from their familiar "homes".

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