Last Friday night Josh and I organized and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for about 45 students from our CUR English Clubs and Bible studies. Adding the 5 of us, that’s 50 people! That’s more people than I’ve ever cooked for, that’s for sure!
You might be asking yourself, “Self, why did the Oettles cook Thanksgiving dinner a week after the real Thanksgiving?” Well, there is a valid answer to that legitimate question. We had several activities already planned for the real week of Thanksgiving, so we decided to have our Thanksgiving feast on the 30th, a little over a week after the real one. Students here don’t really know much about Thanksgiving, so it didn’t make much of a difference to them. In fact, most of them had never tried most of the food we served… mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, broccoli cheese casserole, and pecan pie. It was a real gringo experience!
I think it was a big success, and I think it was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, CUR event yet. It was a great way for the English Club students to mingle with some of our core group students and it helped to further develop friendships and relationships with students.
The week before the feast, a group of girls and I made Pilgrim and Native American hats and worked on ideas for activities for the party. One idea that ended up being a big hit was to have the “real” story behind Thanksgiving explained by Peter and then to break the students up into groups to create their own reenactments of the “first Thanksgiving.” Points were awarded for creativity and originality. The students really got creative and the reenactments were absolutely hillarious!
Overall, I think the Thanksgiving party was everything we were hoping for – a big party for the end of the semester that all of our students (English Club and Bible Study) could participate together and get to know one another better. It was perfect for helping to more fully integrate some of the students on the edge of the group. Plus, everyone had a lot of fun together wearing those silly hats! 🙂