Thanksgiving and a bit more of them Old Trees

Well, it’s been awhile since my last post about Yakushima.  I have a super good excuse, too: I’ve been giving thanks.  And by that I mean: to thank all the people on Iki who’ve helped me immensely over the last year (and/or donated to my charity: water campaign), I put together a Thanksgiving dinner of not-so-epic proportions but seemed so at the time.

Here’s all the food I made (keep in mind that it doesn’t include the food the Japanese guests brought):

1) Roast Turkey
2) Maple Roasted Turkey
3) Stuffing/Dressing
4) Broccoli Casserole
5) Green Bean Casserole
6) Roasted Sweet Potatoes stuffed with Pecans and Marshmallows
7) Cranberry Sauce
8 ) Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
9) Pumpkin Pie
10) Pumpkin Cheesecake
11) Apple Pie
12) Caramel Apple Pie

It was a lot of fun to put together, and I really enjoyed the baking (as always).  Most of the Japanese guests seemed to have a good time as well–the cranberry sauce was a particular favorite, closely followed by the Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

I am so grateful for my life, here on Iki, and even the one I left behind in the US.  I have a good job that pays me plenty of money for not doing much.  I’ve got a nice house with cheap rent.  I’m healthy.  I’ve made plenty of fantastic friends.  I’m broadening my horizons by learning how to do flamenco, taiko, and fan dancing.  My parents love me.  I get along with my sisters.  Last time I checked, my brother is doing well.

I am especially grateful for the 70 people who donated to Mizu Nomihodai.  Most of them had no idea who I am beyond one of the five white people who live in this community of 30,000.  They don’t speak or read English well enough to even understand the charity: water homepage.  But they know that, like me, they’re damn lucky to live in Japan.  Iki and I raised $2500 when all is said and done.  I didn’t reach the initial goal of $5000, but I’m okay with that.  After all, I’ll be trying again around my birthday.

And next time I’m widening the net.  A lot.  🙂

So here are a few pictures from my wildly successful, second annual Iki Thanksgiving Bonanza!  Be jealous and salivate.

Grandma's dressing with chorizo sausage and apples.

Not quite the final spread, but pretty close.

The deeply delicious stuffed Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Would anyone like some heart attack to go with their excellently roasted turkey?

I think this picture of Guy and Christine pretty much speaks for itself.

The guests! (Sans two)

And just because I feel like that’s not enough pictures, a few more out takes from my hike through the primordial forests of Yakushima.  They’re prettier than Guy, at least…

(The following pictures were either taken on November 2 or November 3.  I am too lazy to get up from under my kotatsu to double check the exact names of the places they were taken, so if you want to get a better idea… I suggest coming to Japan and checking yourself.  =P)

Can you spot the deer?

Really, where did this giant rock come from?

Very nicely kept-up directional markers they have.

Gah! Beautiful!

SUPER beautiful!

Can you see the monkeys?

There are still more a few photos of Yakushima that I’d like to share, and also several wonderful discoveries from the mid-year conference in Nagasaki city.   So no, I’m not done yet.  I also realized that I haven’t put up pictures from my trip to South Korea nor the long ago (March!) trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima.

I am behind, I guess.

Anyway, I think I’m going to take a nap.  Then I’m making mincemeat pies with Guy.   I hope you fine folks have a wonderful weekend!