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Project Xpat: Not So Chilly In Chile

A circle of Thanksgiving celebrants in Santiago, Chile.
Amy Bell
A circle of Thanksgiving celebrants in Santiago, Chile.

As American expatriate Amy Bell points out, a Thanksgiving celebration does not always depend on falling leaves and falling temperatures. It depends on being full of thanks.

In Chile, Thanksgiving "falls on the brink of summertime," says Amy, a science teacher at an international school in Santiago. "Unfortunately, we don't have the day off from work, so my crew of American expats gather on the following Saturday to enjoy a full day of eating, drinking and gratitude."

Amy Bell
/ Amy Bell
/
Amy Bell

This year Amy is expecting to celebrate with a dozen or so fellow Americans, a teacher from China, a New Zealander and a Chilean. The hosts, she says, prepare the turkey. Other Americans bring traditional dishes — something dear to their hearts — to share.

"With 80-degree weather, we picnic with blankets in the backyard," Amy says. "The high point of the day is when we hold hands and each take a moment to share what we are most thankful for. This year we will include a new marriage, expanding families and the full remission of a stage IV breast cancer ...

"I expect some tears."

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We hope American expatriates will share photos of Thanksgiving celebrations and tables and gatherings from around the world. Please send them to us on Thanksgiving Day — and over the long holiday weekend --at protojournalist@npr.org or post them using the hashtag #nprexpat. We will display as many as we can.

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The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linton Weeks
Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.