A few weeks back, my friend Stacey and I got together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Peace Corps’ Goal 2 is to promote a better understanding of Americans within the host country. We wanted to bring a little bit of American tradition and holiday spirit to the island, and we were able to share some of our favorites with our host families.

In an effort to stick to our Peace Corps budget, we opted out of buying an imported turkey and settled on a jerked chicken, hence the hashtag #jerksgiving.

True to the American way, we sufficiently stuffed our bellies with sweet potato casserole, cornbread stuffing, garlic green beans, our jerked chicken, cranberry sauce (!!!), mulled cider hot toddies, and of course, pumpkin pie from scratch. And yes, my belt ended up on the table.

Stacey’s host brother even mumbled a teenaged message of approval after eating an overflowing plate of food, which is a pretty big deal!

Making the pumpkin pie was a really special experience. Pumpkin pie is not eaten in Jamaica, so obviously I was stoked to share this holiday treat. It was the first time I’ve made a pie from a fresh pumpkin, and my 11 year-old host sister helped me every step of the way. It was her first time baking a pie, and she was very proud of our handiwork. I doubt that this will be the only pie we’ll make this holiday season!


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