HOLIDAYS ABROAD – Thanksgiving 2012

Holidays abroad can be tough sometimes because you’re away from family and those you love.  Yet, I know that the military helps as best as possible by creating something familiar from home so everyone can have some semblance of a special day.  Thanksgiving is one of those holidays.

Thanksgiving holidays are a popular holiday for Americans at home or abroad. It is supposed to be a day of thanks regarding the period when the Pilgrims first landed in the new world and they celebrated a bountiful harvest thanks to the help of the Native American Indian Wampanoag tribe. The Wampanoag Indians showed the Pilgrims how to provide food for themselves off the land and from the ocean.  The Pilgrims had a huge feast after the crops were harvested and celebrated the fruits of their labor with the Wampanoag people.  The Pilgrims gave thanks to God too for this bountiful harvest and a day of celebration was created to give thanks every year.

Today Americans continue to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. We stuff ourselves with turkey and all the fixings and homemade desserts.  Ham and maybe a roast beef or prime rib may also be on the menu.  Then it’s off to the recliner chair and undo the belt and pants to settle in for a nap or to watch the NFL football games.  Today is also usually the day for the local high school rivals to battle for the win in the Thanksgiving Day football game.  I remember fondly going to the games when in school and rooting the home team on in the freezing weather while sipping on a hot chocolate.

Today the KFOR U.S. Military and foreign soldiers, U.S. civilian workers, Kosovaar workers, and some of their family members got to enjoy a plentiful Thanksgiving meal together.  Unlike being at home, it’s held at the dining facility (DFAC).

The lines of people are usually long to get inside and to be expected they were today as well.  However, the wait wasn’t as bad as it looked and we got inside in a reasonable amount of time.

Photograph of the long line of people waiting to eat the Thanksgiving holiday meal

Soldiers and civilians alike stand in line waiting to go inside and eat

Photograph of three Kosovaar women waiting in line to eat for the Thanksgiving holiday

Three Kosovaar women who work on the camp wait in line with us

Photograph of a line of people waiting inside the DFAC for the Thanksgiving holiday meal

And the line continues once inside….

The DFAC was all decorated to include an elaborate display of fruits and sculptures and vegetables.  ‘Someone’ made mention that it never seems that we can get fresh fruit, yet the display was covered in it.  It was worth a chuckle because he was right.

Photograph of the dining facility decorations for the Thanksgiving holiday

The inside of the dining facility all decked out for the holiday

We got our food tray, dish and silverware and made our way into the serving line which was manned by U.S. Soldiers instead of the local Kosovars who generally serve us.  The locals were all decked out in civilian clothes and it was funny because at first some of them are difficult to recognize out of their DFAC garb.

"Photograph of three Kosovaar women who work in the dining facility all dressed up for the holiday"

Three of the hard working Kosovaar dining facility workers

The food line consisted of carved prime rib, turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (or yams, I can’t tell the difference), stuffing, corn on the cob, corn bread, and oven rolls.  Then it’s off to the typical huge salad bar which had all the salad fixings you could want, except today they had iced shrimp cocktail which only surfaces during the holidays.  So a little of this and a little of that and soon your plate is overflowing.

"Photograph of my Thanksgiving holiday meal"

Plate all loaded and ready to enjoy

This is a one meal day for me. I enjoyed my meal with The Traveling Fool who ate even though he wasn’t feeling good today.  My thoughts though were with my wife who was with me here two years ago and it was fun to see her eyes light up when she saw all the food.  If you don’t know it, Thai’s LOVE to eat and talk about the next meal even when they are eating.  I just don’t understand how she still stays so thin!  So, experiencing her first Thanksgiving meal was an eating extravaganza for her. :-)  My thoughts also went to my two children who I haven’t had a Thanksgiving with in over seven years and probably won’t until they are grown.

I know we as Americans are lucky to have the amount of food that is available to us and I am thankful I have never had to go hungry for an extended period.  I have been close though, but I survived it unlike others in the world so my thoughts went to these people as well.

We all have something to be grateful for and should never take for granted what we have.  There are many in the world that have little or nothing and we need to keep them in mind and help when we can.

I hope all of you who have read this and celebrate Thanksgiving have a happy and safe holiday.  I hope the rest of you who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving are also enjoying your day as well. :-)

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my post.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question.  Would love to hear from you.

Happy and safe travels!  :-)

About VacationWanderer

I have 'wandered' pretty much around the world but still have a lot to see and experience. My favorite things to do in life are travel, photography, and learning new languages or foreign language phrases to use along the way. "Hello", "Thank You", and "Please" in any language will open many doors for you. :-) I love to share my travel experiences with people and hope to inspire those who are still just thinking about it.


  1. ‘Undo the belt and pants’… haha! I wear yoga pants. They stretch! Sounds like a unique Thanksgiving experience, one you’ll always remember. Happy (belated) Turkey Day!
    Angela would like you to check out..Thoughts On Being a Turkey BabyMy Profile

    • Hey Angela! Yoga pants huh? LOL Then I guess you could eat to your hearts content! :-) This is my 8th Thanksgiving away from home. I have been working overseas since 2005 and have had turkey roll, real turkey, and cornish hen. :-) The ones here have been pretty good and yes, each one has been a unique experience of it’s own. Thanks for leaving a comment! :-)

Speak Your Mind


Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

CommentLuv badge

↑ Top of Page
Translate »