Turkey day… literally.

[Warning: if you don’t like seeing even a little bit of blood nor like the thought of animals being killed for food, just don’t bother reading this post — if you don’t mind these things, then – poftim!]

Celebrating holidays overseas and away from family and far-away friends means new traditions, new friends, new adventures, and new perspectives. This being my first Thanksgiving as a Peace Corps volunteer brought with it all of the above and a day full of gratitude.

We may not have eaten turkey today for Thanksgiving, but I did get to meet a couple of turkeys…

Turkeys from a village near Ungheni
Turkeys from a village near Ungheni

So today was literally a turkey day — just not what I had been used to before.

Trying to see which one weighed more
Trying to see which one weighed more.

My site mate arranged to go and pick up some turkeys so we could celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday along with some other volunteers and some of our local friends. One of our local friends drove us and another friend’s father to a village an hour away near Ungheni where we got to meet all these turkeys and a some wonderful hospitable people.

turkey
Our friend holding one of the turkeys like a pro.

After the turkeys had been chosen especially for Thanksgiving; we made a visit to the sister of our friends’ dad. Complete with a visit to the wine cellar.

Retrieving wine from the cellar (beci)
Retrieving wine from the cellar (beci) to take back to Balti.
Enjoyed some delicious tea with these hospitable ladies
Enjoyed some delicious tea with these hospitable ladies

We enjoyed some tea and wonderful treats (homemade cow cheese, bread, and raspberry preserves) while we waited for our turkeys who were a few doors down.

After tea, we made our way back to see if the turkeys were ready to go. Upon our arrival we saw them getting a special bath complete with a special massage treatment.

The turkeys getting de-feathered.
The turkeys getting de-feathered.

In Moldova no gathering would be complete without a BBQ, raceturi, and homemade juice and wine of course!

BBQ being made - pork marinaded in wine and cooked over a fire.
BBQ being made – pork marinaded in wine and cooked over a fire.
Friend and fellow Peace Corps volunteer trying the raceturi (kind of like a meat jello).
Friend and fellow Peace Corps volunteer trying the raceturi (kind of like a meat jello).
Homemade apple juice for all.
Homemade apple juice for all.

Once we were ready to go – the turkeys went in the back of the car and off we went, back to Balti.

Once we were ready to go - the turkeys went in the back of the car and off we went, back to Balti.
Turkeys in the back. Passengers in the front.

And that my friends, was our special turkey day. Complete with many thanks — but that, of course, I will share later.

Gobble, Gobble. Happy Thanksgiving!

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