My father has been known to make swiss cheese out of the New York Times. Not a day goes by that he doesn't put scissor to some sort of reading material- newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, promotional materials, even those little flyers of information you get when visiting an exhibit at a museum (he'll pick up three). You name it - if it has writing or pictures that interest him- its bound to have a future date with his scissors. His routine goes like this: find article or picture, cut it out, sometimes make a collage of it, add a sticky note, insert in envelope with other clippings, seal and mail to family or friends. Since arriving in Guatemala I have received a healthy stash of Dr. Bob supplied reading materials (thanks papa!). I have slowly been going through all the articles he has sent and last night I decided to dive into the last of my clippings. One half of a Dartmouth Medical Magazine. My dad had highlighted an article on medical care given in Nepal for me to read "Anna- one of the volunteers writes grants for the Nepalese- similar to P.C. -Dad". It was 9PM on a Friday night and I felt like I should stay up late (just on principle) so I settled down with the magazine and started with the first article about researcher's findings on how organisms are controlled by an internal circadian clock. When I was done with that one I read the next on comatose patients and the moral challenges treating physicians have with the push for "early family intervention" conducted by organ transplant coordinators. When I finished the second article, which I found fascinating, I was both glad that I now have the time to read literature of this nature cover to cover and worried that reading this article so close to my bedtime might lead to coma nightmares. I don't think i'd normally get worked up about having nightmares but as a PCV I am required to take malaria pills. A side effect of this medication happens to be vivid dreams and, on the flip-side, very vivid nightmares. The last thing I wanted was to find myself locked in a comatose nightmare- the kind where you are paralyzed, held prisoner in your immobile body but can think and hear and sense- a-la The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. With this on my mind I decided it best to end the night on a lighter note and read the last article- the one on Nepal- before tucking in for the night.
This morning when I woke up I was pleased to remember that in fact I did not dream about becoming a vegetable but eating them instead. I dreamt of a Thanksgiving feast fit for a Queen- of course prepared by the best chef I know- my mom. There were four tables of food all adorned with three tiered silver serving platters. Platters filled with all foods imaginable. Everything was so vivid (thanks malaria meds) I could smell the food and see the steam rising from the heated plates. Twenty types of various salads with ingredients such as asparagus, tomato, buffalo mozzarella, barley and parsley, dried cranberries, pinenuts, eggplant, zucchini... There was stuffing and roasted vegetable pizza (? not standard thanksgiving fare but i'll take it) and corn bread and turkey so juicy it dripped when carved. There was food I had never heard of before, artichoke bread and giraffes meat (I don't know what my brain was thinking). And the dessert table, oh my, the dessert table was my heaven on earth, sweet potato pecan pie, chocolate cake, raspberry bars, peanut butter cookies, I could go on and on about the dessert... everything served with a scoop (or three) of ice cream. In my dream I just did laps around the tables with an empty plate because I didn't even know where to start I was so overwhelmed.
My sister Danica was there too. I remember her wrestling Nate for a piece of chocolate cake. I'm not sure why, she normally only fights for the sweet potato pecan variety...
Unfortunately, I woke up before finishing my first helping.
This year I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with other Peace Corps Volunteers in the highlands of El Quiche. But there is no denying that I'm still really gonna miss Thanksgiving dinner back home- and my subconscious has made note of it. So, in place of the real thing I hope I can start my dreams tonight where I left off this morning and at least get to taste some dessert.