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Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm thankful for...

This is my second Thanksgiving in a row that I won't be at home with my family.  It's a little bit sad, but it helps to remember all of the things I'm thankful for....
  • my family and friends at home: I've been awful at keeping in touch over the last 3 months, but the occasional phone calls and messages have kept me going through training.
  • my new Nica 60 friends:  I have a pretty awesome training group and have made some strong friendships over the last 11 weeks that I know will be absolutely essential to me making it through the next 2 years here in Nicaragua.
  • health:  ok, so I've actually been kind of sick over the last week, but I'm grateful that overall I'm healthy and so are my friends and family
  • hot water at the hotel we're staying at:  when you've been bucket showering with cold water at 6 a.m. for the past 11 weeks, hot water is AMAZING!
  • the Peace Corps staff in Nicaragua: they're supportive, realistic, and super generous.  Especially the Country Director, who's hosting us all for Thanksgiving dinner today
  • my host family from Training:  This is a big one for me right now, and it makes me tear up just thinking about how fabulous they were for the past 11 weeks and how much I am going to miss them.  My mom took the best care of me-- made me great food, washed my clothes, and just supported me in every way possible.  My host sisters Ana and Maria-- for being my first genuine Nicaraguan friends, hanging out with me, going to the gym with me, and making me laugh.  My "nephew" Diego-- who my host sisters started calling my Nicaraguan son because he got so attached to me-- for making me laugh with all the adorable things he says and greeting me with a hug, smile, and screaming "Tia Sara!" every time I walked in the door.  And Luis-- for hanging out with me, talking to me like a friend and not like a gringo, and being there for me.  Gosh, I'm going to miss them all.  Even though I'm already planning on seeing them for New Year's, it was still really hard to say goodbye.
  • this opportunity:  Just a year ago I was spending Thanksgiving in my site in Honduras.  I never would have thought that this year I would be spending it in Managua, Nicaragua, one day before being sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer for the second time.  I know it's cliche to say that everything happens for a reason, but I couldn't be happier where I am right now.  I love my new project (environmental education), my training group, and I know I'm going to like the site where I'll be living and working for two years.  I would have never imagined I'd be here, but I'm so glad I am!
Hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving surrounded by their close friends and family.  Don't forget all of the things that you have to be thankful for.  Living in a developing country definitely makes you appreciate all of the things that many people take for granted, but it also helps you realize what's really important-- the relationships that you build with people, being together with those you care about, and enjoying life despite its hardships and challenges.

Love and miss you all.  Have a great day!

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