. The most difficult item to obtain turned out to be the sweet potatoes which we could not have mailed to us. We found them at the little Asian food store in "downtown" Hamar. They were white sweet potatoes instead of the orangy-colored ones that I'm used to, but it worked out ok in the end. Nat arrived today around 3pm from his field-study up north where he has been working with 2 different boat builders. Just in time to set the table and eat! We invited our friends from Namibia, Ellison, Lovers, Matengu, Fritz and Lemmi, and also our friend Anna from Germany who all came. We also invited our professors Kjersti and Inger, but both of them had previous engagements, and our Norwegian classmates were all busy too. Anyway, it turned out to be a great crowd. We had a full turkey complete with stove top stuffing, veggeterian stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls, baked brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. I completely forgot that the sweet potatoes had to be baked first to soften them, so they took extra long and were not finished cooking until half-way through dinner, and I added 3x the cinnamon and vanilla required in the recipe I was trying to use, but in spite of this, and the fact that they were white, they turned out ok. I don't think the Namibians understood what a big deal Thanksgiving is for us at home until we started to explain our different Thanksgiving traditions. But I can't think of a better group to spend that family time with in Norway. They were so much fun. For dessert we had pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It was the perfect end to the meal. No stress involved.
This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family, and I didn't realize how much it really meant to me. Thursday I was rather grumpy from having to spend the day in Oslo working on translations, and taking the train back to Hamar after being gone for 3 days. What a boring day. Anyway, I was really missing family, and worried that we would all end up too stressed out over the cooking process. But you know, although I wasn't too happy on Thursday, Thanksgiving went incredibly smoothly. I was so thankful for the group here that I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home with. We decided to celebrate today, Saturday, instead of Thursday in order to accommodate our friend JP who is studying in Bergen and wanted to visit, but he was unable to come in the end. Lauren, my lovely roomie, got the opportunity to go to Serbia with her field study, so she left on Friday, and missed the dinner, but I'm pretty sure it will be worth it in the end for her. I missed her though. Christy and Jessica and I spent much of yesterday running around looking for the last-minute food purchases we needed