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Project Xpat: Not So Chilly In Chile

A circle of Thanksgiving celebrants in Santiago, Chile.
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

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

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