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Early Thanksgiving Dinner

In the past, I have mentioned the different Expat groups in Davao. They all have their own dynamics and agendas. The first one I became part of is the Friends of Mindanao. A man named Ian Fredericks, a New Zealander, who had lived here for many years, started the Friends of Mindanao. He was a business marketing and motivational speaker, and originally stared the group as a business marketing and support group. The group eventually became a social and support group for all expats. It was a relaxed meeting where members would be presenters telling about their life or occupation back home.

They group meets twice a month on the first and third Wednesday mornings. We would sit and have coffee or beverage of choice and enjoy each other’s company. It was decided to have this week’s meeting as an American Thanksgiving party. The meeting was moved up to 2pm since a turkey meal is too heavy for breakfast time.
The venue we hold the meetings is owned by a man who is a chef and Tim, one of the members worked with the chef to come up with a meal more like an American thanksgiving. Tim also brought a relative who played guitar and sang for us before the meeting started and during our meal.

There must have been close to 40 attendees including an expat and their wife/companion. This was one of the largest attendances the organization has ever had, and it was nice seeing regular members, some who have not attended for a while and some new faces too.


I was asked to MC the meeting and I started telling about our thanks and a past Thanksgiving memory. Then Tim took over the mic and talked about Ian, what he meant to the group and all the people whose life he touched.  Louis who will co-chair the next meeting spoke about what to expect and what was needed.

Then lunch was served. We received a plate with turkey, a cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli Au-gratin, an apple salad and a dinner roll. For dessert, we received a plate with some mixed fruit and a square of blueberry cheesecake. The food was well prepared and I think we all enjoyed the meal.


After the meal, Tim discussed some more about Ian’s dreams and a charitable group we have selected to help this year. This group was started by an Irish man to take older teens, whose lives had been difficult, either by drugs or crime. He started a home to have a decent environment to live and to have them attend school and teach them responsibilities at home.

With all the trials this group faces in the future, I hope it continues to survive. It is a relaxed and enjoyable group to attend and make friends and support.

4 Responses to “Early Thanksgiving Dinner”

  1. *lynne* says:

    It’s always nice to have a group of like-minded people, or at least those who resonate to some extent with your own wavelength 🙂 And this is the time of year when those who have transplanted themselves away from “home” to a new home, might find themselves missing “home”. My family was never “close” so have never missed them, but I enjoy the camaraderie and good cheer that seems to bubble up in most people at the end of the year. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Christmas and New year!

    • Bruce says:

      While I was still in the States, as I got older the family had splintered all over the country and the family get-togethers were a thing of the past.
      I do miss the family meals as a kid and some of the families of friends that had invited me into their homes for the holidays while I lived in California.

  2. novie says:

    Hi Bruce,

    So sad that Paul and I missed the very important event this year for the FRIENDS OF MINDANAO GROUP. But were happy to see that the event ended successful and very memorable. Send our regards to the members and wives/gf of THE FRIENDS OF MINDANAO.

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