A few weeks ago Skye and I asked our host family if we could cook them Thanksgiving. They thought it was a good idea and lets us have control of the meal. Though we did need some help cooking the chicken(no turkey because it was too big) everything else we pretty much made on our own. Our host mom and sister bought the groceries and even bought red, white, and blue candles. We also had American flag stickers. I was a little worried about the food, but it turned out pretty good! The dinner was full of laughs and talking about what we were thankful for, and I felt at home. At one point when we were setting the table we talked about how the dinner table looked like a merging of cultures with the American flags and African place mats. These comments were made jokingly, but I did feel that the table was a beautiful picture of culture,countries, and lives that were being meshed together.
I have been told by many people and at many orientations that homesickness will be most prevalent during the holidays. So I have been dreading Thanksgiving a little bit believing that the thought of all my family being together without me would make me miss them more and I would just want to be home. Yesterday was not full of homesickness like I expected though. Instead it was full of fun and laughter. I do miss home sometimes, but I did not feel sad yesterday instead I felt blessed. I felt blessed that I get the chance to be apart of two families. I will always be apart of my natural family and I am so thankful for that, but now for a short period of my life I get the opportunity to be apart of another family. Another family that I get to live with, laugh with, and experience life with. On a day that in the United States is solely for being thankful, I felt that I could not be more thankful.
So I would like to say a few of the things that I am thankful for. First off I am so extremely thankful for my natural family. I know not many parents would even consider letting their 16-year-old daughter live in another country for nine months. So thank you Mom and Dad for being so brave and believing in me so much. And to the rest of my family I am so thankful for all of you and the influence you have all had in my life.
Secondly as I have mentioned above I am so thankful for my host family and that they opened their homes and hearts to me and brought me into their family.
Next I would like to say that I am thankful beyond words to the Department of State and YES Abroad, because without them there would be no way for me to have the opportunity to experience the amazing culture of South Africa.
I am also thankful for friends, new and old. For my friends that have always been there and for friends that I am just getting to know. They are all such a great part of my life and I don’t know where I would be without them.
I think we all have so much to be thankful for and am glad that the United States has a day to show our gratitude, I’m also glad that this year I got to share this day with others.
On another note this week has been my last week of school before the “holidays” which is kind of like Christmas break and summer break combined. So after tomorrow I will not be going to school until January. I also got the results back for the couple of exams i took. They were all a little rough, but in South African standards I did not fail any!! So that was a kind of accomplishment. We also had a bunch of relaxed days this week at school since exams were done. We had a sports day in which I participated in the three-legged race, and today each house(like the school houses in Harry Potter) put on a musical skit based on a Disney movie. My house did the Lion King. It was all very fun and I loved getting to see all the school spirit the girls in the school have!
It has been such a great week and I am excited to see what these next few weeks of Holidays bring. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!