Thanksgiving in Spring
November 29, 2013
By Greg RA Daniel (University of Vermont)
Even though the harvest doesn’t yet fill the minds of the Chileans, this austral spring still brings many aspects of thanks.
In the morning at Los West Winds camp grounds a fellowship of students scurry around preparing their assigned dishes. The smell of sweet pear-infused stuffing filled the air while others threw around a makeshift football made of duct tape, old-fence wire, and old insulation. Another group of students created festive decorations in the nearby lean-to. A cornucopia made from a previously-salvaged sheep horn sat in the center of the table. Near the cornucopia, a candelabra carved from ancient drift wood from Lago Gutierrez was surrounded by large pine cones and paper cut outs of maple leaves. Of course, a guanaco pelvis bone hung near the ceiling and watched over us all as a symbol of spring fertility and to commemorate the newborn guanaco scamps hanging out near their mothers. A Chinese lantern (Misodendrum spp.) hung over the counter where the freshly-cooked dishes now began to collect. Sun dresses and slacks, once hidden in the deepest depths of our baggage, surfaced on bodies.
Our new friends Rachel, Rory, Joey, Adam and Arthur arrived to our fully assembled feast: green bean bake, stuffing, breaded chicken, gravy, pan fried bread and salad. Everyone feasted until a near-blistered state and then went out and kicked the soccer ball and hacky sack around. As the sun light faded, the light of our candelabra illuminated the face of The Jomad. We were thankful to hear Joey’s stories of his walking journey across the South American continent. The candle light progressed and songs of adventure and journey were sung. The light burned and we all subconsciously thought of what we were thankful for: our families for sending us here, our hard work to get here, and all the dulce de leche we shall carry within us until the end of days…