Alright, for starters, I want to wish everyone a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving (even if it is a couple days late:))! I know for me, I have an endless list of all the things that I am thankful for.
When I went to school, all of my friends that knew it was a holiday eagerly wished me a happy Thanksgiving; and then for a good part of the day we talked about all the food that we eat and the traditions we have in the U.S. on Thanksgiving. It was such a good day at school, and it made me realize how lucky I am to have such awesome friends here in Brazil. :)
Then, after school, to bring a little bit of Thanksgiving culture to Brazil, I made my first ever apple pie! I was kind of nervous about making it, because this was the first thing I made my family. But luckily, after about three hours of chopping, mixing, and baking, I successfully made a delicious apple pie! :) And now, I have been ordered to make one for Christmas too! :)
So while the apple pie was cooling, I skpyed with my family. I knew from the beginning that seeing them would be a little tough, but I was more than willing to shed a few tears just to see my wonderful family for a bit. It started off really great! Seeing everyone at my grandma's house; talking with my aunts, uncles, and cousins was so nice and I loved every second. But then, once it was time for them to go eat dinner, I could feel my chin start to quiver and tears welling up in my eyes. As I said goodbye to my mom and sister, they said, "Know that we are so thankful for you and we love you so much! We'll toast to you at dinner! Don't cry; enjoy the rest of your day and I am sure the apple pie will be delicious!" By this point, the tears were slowly rolling down my cheeks, and after a very quick and cracked "Goodbye. I love you all so much too." I quickly hungup and let it out! It really is amazing how much better you feel after a good cry and some chocolate. Afterwards, I headed downstairs for dinner, even though my eyes were puffy and I couldn't really talk without starting to cry; however, when my host mom, Lu, saw me she gave me a hug and later told me how thankful they were to have me in their house. But really, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm the lucky one here. My family here, both sides I might add, is absolutely amazing; and I can't even begin to describe how fortunate I am to be living with them! So after a delicious dinner and eating the pie, I was ready to call it a night.
Sure, my Thanksgiving this year didn't have a turkey or I didn't go shopping on "Black Friday", but I did have a lovely dinner with my family, and time to really think about what this holiday means and how incredibly thankful I am for all the wonderful things in my lfe.
So thank you to all of my family and friends, both here in Brasil and in the U.S., you've helped make me the person I am today; and I am so fortunate to have you all in my life! And thank you to Rotary! This has been the greatest experience, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all the hard work that you Rotarians do! :)
And now, it's almost one in the morning here. I just got back from a wedding, and I am exhausted! But don't worry, I'll write about the wedding and what I did today after a goodnight's sleep!