Today is just another Thursday in Guyana and somehow I’ll have to keep myself from thinking of exactly what I would be doing in Pennsylvania during the day (like eating breakfast before the kitchen closes at 10 am, laying on the couch with my favorite of Grandma’s blankets during the Macy’s parade, having some pointless discussion with my brothers until its my turn to make crescent rolls right before dinner time).
ANYWAYS, even though I can’t celebrate Thanksgiving in true fashion, I can honor the actual meaning of the holiday–maybe more so this year than any other before. I’m realizing this year what I’m so thankful for, and typically I just slap a “thankful” onto some sentence during the day to cover my “thanking” for the year, but I don’t have a feast to eat so I have more time to write it all out:
1. My MVC community here in Guyana. These people are the bomb. It’s hard to live here, but having three other smilin’ faces waiting for me at the end of the day makes it manageable. I’ve got three new best friends who will forever be the ones who lived my Guyana-life with me. Also, I’m thankful they haven’t gotten too annoyed with me yet.
2. Being born in America. This is a privilege no one deserves and no one controls. Somehow I (and millions others) have gotten lucky. I didn’t recognize how lucky until I’ve seen the ways other parts of the world live.
3. My life in America. Seriously. The way we live, though more modest than tons, is more luxurious than most in Guyana can even imagine. And the lifestyle that I’ve lived so far is what has made it possible for me to take a year to spend in a third-world country. I made a choice to live in a country thousands of people are trying to escape–without my life in America that wouldn’t be the case.
4. My friends. Just yeah. They rock. I’m good at picking people out, what can I say.
5. My family. Oy, where do I begin? I knew being away from my family would be the hardest part of my year, and I was right. From 2,700 miles away I still feel like I’m constantly being hugged by them. No one would choose for their daughter/sister/granddaughter to leave for a year into a world of a million unknowns, but somehow my family has banded together to support me in doing so. I know this support isn’t normal, its not entitled to me, I haven’t done anything to deserve it. Family: you guys mean more to me than I could ever say in words or in actions, and the way you’ve shown your love and support to me the past three months has been more meaningful than any other love or support I could even think of. There’s no way I could last here (or anywhere) without all of you guys behind me, and I’ve never felt more loved in my life than while I’m here. I don’t want anyone to think this is just “absence making the heart grow fonder” because these are things I’ve known all my life. I couldn’t be who I am without all of you guys, and I’ll never stop being thankful for you. I love you all very much, I’m sorry I can’t be with you for the Holidays, but I’m always thinking about you. Now go eat your bowls of peanut butter ripple ice cream and each of you can have an extra scoop, for me 🙂