Class 2A is my favorite class in the school. Teaching them brings me much joy, so I sometimes take a little break from French and teach them about American culture. In October, I told them about Halloween. Yesterday, I told them all about Thanksgiving, about the history of the holiday and what we eat. The most important part of Thanksgiving is being with family, I told them, and I’m so sad that I’m going to miss it.
This morning, Ellen, the Class 2A teacher, wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, and later she sought me out and handed me a little present: a necklace and matching earrings. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness I almost cried. I gave her a big hug and said, “Merci! Merci!”
When I got back to my room this afternoon, I cried for reals. I’ve been so sad all day. All I can think about are my family and friends in America who are getting ready for their Thanksgiving Day feast. I haven’t spent a Thanksgiving at home in four years, but I’ve always celebrated it, usually with my second family, the Williamses, in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Last night, Sister Juliana said we’d have turkey and something special, but I knew she wasn’t serious. When I came down for dinner, I saw that we had yams and bitter leaf stew... probably my least favorite Ghanaian food. Sister Juliana felt sorry for me, so she sent Hanna to buy us Guinness to drink.
I think being here is harder for me than I’m letting on. When I have a problem, I have no one to talk to about it. Sometimes I end up crying in my room, all alone, but usually my problems go straight to my notebooks. I try to get up half an hour earlier each morning to write my “morning pages.” I’m much more homesick than I thought I would be. I never felt this way when I lived in Europe, although I do remember feeling like this sometimes when I lived in Ohio. I often wonder if I’d feel like this if I lived in Asia. I really wanted to move to Japan for a year, but I’m not so sure anymore.
Okay, but really... the point of Thanksgiving is to remember all that you are thankful for. I am thankful for SO many things.
I’m thankful for my everyone in my family. I’m thankful for each of my friends. I miss and love them all very much. I’ve been so blessed to have such amazing people in my life!
I’m also thankful for the sun, the moon, stars, clouds, grass, flowers, trees, water, diamonds, music, telephones, big cities, John Mayer, Christmas, books, coffee, language, diversity, ingenuity, chocolate, smiles, laughter, thoughtfulness, the internet, colors, peanut-butter, ice cream, soap, electricity, transportation, education, spirit, life, happiness, muzzles and leashes, clocks, calendars, chapstick, girlfriends, guy friends, best friends, sisters, brothers, students, teachers, amusement parks, crêpe stands, street performers, bridges, beds, toothpaste, purses, dresses, lotion, mosquito nets, windows, airplanes, Indians and pilgrims who get along, milk, musicals, blankets, cars, cats, cologne, Paris, and elephants.
I think I’m the most thankful for love.