I write this post as I sit on a bus amidst a very heated Cameroon argument. I’ll spare you the details because I don’t understand them but there’s a lot of “chien” and “se combien manges-tu” floating around plus the occasional claps from thee other passengers so you know it’s intense. On the bright side it’s given me some time to think.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It focuses on food and family without the pressure of gift giving. Sadly with as many holidays as Cameroon has, I don’t think thanksgiving is one of them. Here it’s just another day. I even went to work. There are none of the usual harbingers of fall on this side of the pacific. No change in temperature, no change in leaves, no cinnamon brooms or pumpkin spice lattes. To be honest I barely remembered today was thanksgiving. Though I’m extremely sad to be missing this sweet time usually spent with my loving family and especially especially sad about my lack of traditional thanksgiving foods, I still find that there’s so much in my life to be thankful for.
I’m currently thankful for my friend Kevin and his magical supply of Manila cookies and his never ending hospitality, for the mama that visited me this morning wanting to bring me met de arashid, and for having learned enough french to be able to fix things with my electric company when they turn off my power for “not having paid my bill” (even though I do pay it every month). I’m grateful that I have a roof over my head, even though it has a few leaks, and for being well fed, which does not necessarily mean nutritiously fed. This year I find myself especially thankful for my health. The fact that I am alive and living in a country where each day is an adventure is a privilege I know not everyone gets.
This thanksgiving I’m also thankful for my past and the up and down journey that brought me to where and who I am today. I’m thankful for growing up in a community that valued education and had teachers that were passionate about their subject and their students. I’m thankful for parents who encouraged me to pursue what I wanted because they believed in me. I’m thankful to have been a part of an amazing sport and an even more amazing team. And finally I’m thankful I have friends who still make the effort to be my friend even though I’m 8,000,000 miles away.
So here’s a gentle reminder this year to be thankful for the fact that you don’t have to worry about where your next shower will come from and don’t forget to eat everything on your place cause ya know there are children starving in Africa (I’m looking at you Sierra). Aside from that eat extra portions for me and have a #blessed thanksgiving, nay your gravy boats overflow and your turkey not be dry.