How Tigers Far Away from Home Spent their Thanksgiving

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Photo Courtesy of Kisa Tamai

For most students, Thanksgiving break means a time to go home, connect with family and friends, and enjoy food. However, Tigers far away from home spent their Thanksgiving in a different way. 

First-year Kisa Tamai had her first Thanksgiving away from her family. Despite this, she enjoyed the quiet time and new company on campus. 

On Thanksgiving Day, I was fortunate to join other DePauw students and share a meal with members of the Greencastle community. I got to know new and familiar faces through bonding over culture, languages, and board games,” Tamai said. 

Later that day, Tamai volunteered at the Putnam County Hospital Emergency Department. She said this new way of spending Thanksgiving made her appreciate first responders, people's hospitality, and kindness more.

I spent the majority of my break trying to re-organize myself for the rest of the semester because I finally had enough time where I couldn't use the excuse of being ‘too busy.’ For example, I've been meaning to start reading for fun and finally had the perfect opportunity. This break allowed me to take a break from following a strict schedule to loosely spend my time,” Tamai said. 

Tamai said she ended up going to the DePauw Nature Park three days in a row. She enjoyed the peacefulness and scenery every time. Tamai mentioned that preparing her own meals was the hardest part of spending Thanksgiving on-campus, but gave her better practice for living alone. Despite this, Tamai made some memorable moments over the week.

“Spending this time with peers and graduating seniors allowed me to make memories that I wouldn't have been able to make if I wasn't on campus. My favorite memory has to be running in the park with friends to catch the sunset in time and staying until the sun set to stargaze until it got too cold,” Tamai said.

First-year Raj Yadav spent his break on campus laid back and hanging out with his friends. Yadav spent a lot of time with his other international friends cooking food together in the Jordan Hall lobby. 

“I spent most of my time just talking around with my friends and watching the FIFA World Cup matches together along with hosting movie nights for our friend group. One of our friends also bought nerf guns and swords so we spent an entire night just battling with plastic swords and small but lethal nerf guns,” Yadav said. 

Although DePauw didn’t have many events on campus, the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity house hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. 

“There were hundreds of students at the dinner and the food was really good. It did feel like a proper Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by loving friends. That was my favorite memory from the break as there were so many people on that singular floor that I could resonate with and it all felt like one big family event,” Yadav said. 

After the dinner, Yadav stayed to play cards with some of his friends, a tradition back home in Nepal during festivals for Yadav. He mentioned that the hardest part of staying at DePauw for Thanksgiving break was spending such a family-oriented holiday away from his family. 

Kimario Davis from Brooklyn, New York,  spent most of his time playing video games and watching movies with his friends. Davis also spent a lot of time catching up on sleep and assignments. Despite not being able to see his parents over break, Davis had a memorable experience having Thanksgiving at his professor’s house. 

“On Thursday, I went to Kevin Hamilton's house for dinner. His mom was there and we talked and ate mashed potatoes, macaroni, salad and turkey. We talked and gave thanks,” Davis said.