"If you have come here to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come here because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together" -Lilla Watson, Aboriginal Activist

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

10 things I'm (belatedly) thankful for this year:
  1. I'm thankful for my amazing family and friends back home who I missed so dearly over the holiday.  Without their undying support and encouragement, I'm not sure where I'd be. 
  2. All the amazing people I've met, relationships I've formed, places I've seen, and experiences I've had over the last 19 months.  
  3. All the mistakes I've made and learned from, the bad days I've survived, the loneliness and self-doubt I've overcome, and the many rough patches I've gone through over the last 19 months.  After all, it's hard to to appreciate the good without the bad. 
  4. I'm thankful for all my loyal blog-readers out there.  As of this week, Cartas de Lejos is 10,000 views strong.
  5. For beans, cabbage, eggs, veggies and fruit.  The Guatemalan diet isn't too shabby.
  6. For all of the lessons I've learned from the people in my village.  For all the love and respect they've given me that I never feel I truly earned.  For all the good days in site, that kept me going through year one and will keep me going through year two.
  7. I'm thankful for all the amazing Peace Corps friends I've made despite geographic barriers and hardly ever seeing one another.  Especially for those who I know I can call and cry to on the bad days.
  8. I'm thankful that in around 12 hours and about $10-20 worth of bus tickets, I can swim in the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, or cross the border into in Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, or Mexico.
  9. I thankful that I was able to spend my Thanksgiving day 2011 hiking barefoot through the muddy jungle, climbing a waterfall, laying on a dock chatting about nothing for hours, and eating a Thanksgiving feast of local Tapado (Coconut-fish soup), Coconut bread, and not-so-local Chocolate Pudding Jelly Bellies.
  10. And last but not least, I'm thankful for Marie Sharp's Belizean Fiery Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce, and that it made it back in my backpack unbroken.

*Since drafting this I heard that six of the girls that I spent this weekend with were held up at gunpoint on their bus ride home yesterday afternoon.  They are all okay, although understandably shaken up, and dealing with getting their stolen phones and credit cards replaced.  From what I've heard from them they are handling it extremely well--that's after all what PCV's are really good at--not letting the ugly and sometimes scary realities of living and working in a developing country overshadow the amazing times and experiences we have here.  So I'll add an eleventh "I'm thankful for" and say that I am so so thankful that my friends are safe and okay.  I know that they'll all bounce back from this with characteristic grace because that's just how strong and independent they are.  


  1. I'm thankful to have you as a friend and for all the lessons I've learned from you.

  2. Emily!! I'm happy to have you as a friend, too, and for all of our wonderful times together in BCN!! Miss you!