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Project XPat: Turkey Ball In Djibouti

Baseball in Djibouti
Baseball in Djibouti

Here in the States, many folks play American-made football — touch, not tackle — on Thanksgiving Day after the megameal.

But in other parts of the world, no one will be the wiser if you make a substitution — and play American-made baseball. Turkey Ball instead of Turkey Bowl, perhaps?

That has become the tradition for Rachel Pieh Jones and her family in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. "We cook, entirely from scratch," says Rachel — transplanted from Minnesota — whose husband, Tom, teaches at the University of Djibouti. "Pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls. If we're lucky, we have a turkey. If not, we substitute rotisserie chicken or Chinese take-out."

After the Thanksgiving repast, the Jones family joins "other expats — not all Americans — for the annual baseball game," says Rachel, who about the expat experience. "We take over a soccer field and play until dark. Not all know how to play; some run the bases backwards, throw the bat or just play catch."

At day's end, everyone from all over the world gets together for desserts — from all over the world.

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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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