Saturday, November 28, 2015

Be Joyful. Pray Always. Give Thanks.

Thanksgiving was, is, and forever will be my favorite holiday. Christmas is my favorite holiday season, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It started selfishly-- you eat, you nap, you don't have to spend your money one presents. It's every college kid's dream. But over the years, I've actually come to love Thanksgiving for the act of giving thanks. You know, the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Thanskgiving in Honduras 2012. Thanksgiving in Rio 2014.

As with most people, my family and friends top my list for what I am most thankful for. Sadly, it's been four years since I have celebrated Thanksgiving sitting around a table with blood relatives. It's hard, there's no need to sugarcoat it. Each year, Thanksgiving is one of my guaranteed homesick days. It's hard knowing that my brother is flying in and my cousins are driving home and everyone will all be spending time together while I'm thousands of miles away (and usually teaching, nonetheless). 

And yes, I've been so blessed in both Honduras and in Brazil. In each country, my friends and I created our own traditions and eaten delicious meals with the hodge-podge family that we have become. We've played American football with our students. I introduced my students to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We've hosted dinner and made everyone go around and say what they are thankful for. But we also all know that, despite how much fun we are having together, we still miss our friends and family back home. 

Closely following my family and friends on the list of things I'm thankful for is technology. I'm so connected to the people who are important to me and, honestly, I don't think I could live abroad if it wasn't for that. Throughout the course of the day I was able to Skype many of the people who are so special to me. The people who watched me grow through high school and move to college and then make the difficult decisions to move abroad, but who love and support me every single step of the way. 

So to you guys, I'm thankful for all of you. For your love. For your laughter. For your support, even from another country. For your understanding when I text you at 4am because there's a three hour time difference. For being the people who I miss every single day. 

And to these goons. What a perfect day to Skype the 45 babies who filled my life with more joy and laughter and tears and stress than I ever knew what to do with.

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