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.|
|Part of the Encarnacion bus terminal.|
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.