Marion Walls | KF19 | Tanzania

I’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with you, the Kiva community!  I’d love to cook dinner for us to share but this is the thing: I’m in Tanzania right now.  (I’m a Kiva Fellow, serving with Tujijenge and Barefoot Power.)  So I’m enlisting your help with getting the food to the table.  It’ll be easy!  I’ve chosen a familiar Thanksgiving menu:

Turkey with Pan Gravy

Nut Loaf (*vegetarian option)

Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Corn

Seasonable Vegetables


Coffee or Tea

And just to be certain we end up with the same meal as each other, I’ve provided step-by-step instructions (with full-color illustrations from Tanzania!) for you to follow.  You can’t go wrong…  So let’s get cooking!

1.  Set the oven temperature to “moderate” heat, i.e. be sure to let the charcoal burn down!

2.  Cook the Bird till the juices run clear, and the skin is nicely browned.  (Turkeys proved elusive – here’s rooster from Bagamoyo instead…)

3.  Pick, peel, and roast nuts for the nut loaf.  Cashews are abundant here, but feel free to use any nuts growing locally near you.

Oh! I almost forgot to decorate the table!

4.  Peel the potatoes – don’t be shy with the quantities!   (My neighborhood chip-vendor goes through 3 of these 250 lb sacks every day!)

5.  Roast the corn to perfection, then spice it up with peri-peri (chilli) and lime juice.

6.  Finely chop a selection of greens, and saute each individually.

7.  Fix the desert of your choice.  We’re not big on pie here, and the electricity quit (again) so the ice-cream has melted…  but cake is a winner at all celebrations!

8.  Brew coffee or tea – we grow them both here!  Our coffee is world-famous for quality and flavor, but we export most beans to you.  We usually use instant powder ourselves, or more often drink tea.

I hope you’ve cooked up a feast!

Happy Thanksgiving from Tanzania!

Marion has written many pages of operating instructions for polymer manufacturing facilities… You too can apply to be a Kiva Fellow for a totally different experience!

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Ha ha! This is wonderful, Marion! Some perfect lighthearted fun to help digest my stuffed belly this evening. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday simply because it's all about friends, family and food! It's great to know that the spirit of thanksgiving is reaching all parts of this beautiful world, thanks in large part to the Kiva community! Best to you, my friend :)

Your post is great and I had a similar experience here in Benin. This sentence made me laugh out loud "Marion has written many pages of operating instructions for polymer manufacturing facilities… You too can apply to be a Kiva Fellow for a totally different experience!" Thanks for that :)

Marion, thank you for bringing a smile to my face! You are a wonderful ambassador for Kiva and Tanzania. The roasted corn looks delicious! Can I have that with a nice cup of local tea, please? Happy Thanksgiving to you and all Kiva! Marje

Hi Peter, Holly and Marje - Glad you could share the fun I had putting this post together! The best part for me was the story behind each picture: that's the corn vendor, and the veges-with-pilau-or-ugali vendor, that I buy lunch from on days when I'm at Tujijenge office; I look out of my office window at the 3 men peeling industrial quantities of potatoes; the cake lady is a remarkable entrepreneur who did some translation work for me... It's a colorful life here! M.

Loved this post Marion! Thank you:)

This was incredible! So glad you decided to take a break from writing operating instructions ;) As always, I love all your colorful photos and descriptions!

It's definitely fun work nowadays - the taxi driver thought I was crazy when I spotted cashew trees in a field, and leaped out in the middle of nowhere to take a photo!

Love this post, Marion! So happy to see that you had a great Thanksgiving!

I really enjoy reading your blogs. I am envious of the adventure you are on.

Thanks Karen - t's going to be a fun photo night showing you all this when I get home!

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