Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

Hello There!

Even though I'm currently in a country where Thanksgiving isn't such a big deal as it is in the U.S., I still managed to celebrate and I can still be thankful for things.  I'll talk about my thanksgiving experiences in a different post, but right now, I want to type up my annual list of things that I'm thankful for (in no particular order).

1. Ovens.  I didn't realize my appreciation of ovens until this semester when I found out that I have no access to an oven.  I had access to a confection oven once which was the size of an over-sized microwave, but it's just not the same.  You can't fit four cookie sheets in that.  You can't fit many loafs of bread in that.  So I can't wait to get back to the U.S. so that I can start baking up a storm again.  But I can wait five more weeks.  In the mean time, I've been able to up my savory dishes game and experiment with dinner-type meals rather than desserts.

2. The Fact that my Family was Able to Come and Visit me in the Netherlands.  My family came to the Netherlands/France/Belgium for two weeks and I was able to spend most of that time with them.  It was something I was looking forward to and that I'd talk obsessively about with my friends.  It was really important to me that my family come to visit me sometime while living abroad and they did and it was extra special because they came over Thanksgiving.  You'll here more about this in the other post that I mentioned.

3. Bravery.  This semester, this has been extra important for me and I'm very happy that bravery and I have gotten to rub elbows a few times.  I've talked to complete strangers, tried out languages I've either never spoken or haven't spoken for a while, gotten comfortable with asking questions without having to work up the courage for a long time, and traveled outside of the Netherlands on my own.  I couldn't have done those things without working up the courage to do them.  Hurray for bravery!

4. The Ability to travel.  I recognize that I'm incredibly fortunate to be of able body and to have enough money to go to a number of places this semester.  I've seen some really amazing things.  Some things, such as Platform 9 3/4, I've been looking forward to visiting for years and other things, such as Marrakesh, Morocco in one week, I never imagined I'd see this semester.  I'm thankful that I have the resources to go and see these places.  Not everyone does.

5. Potatoes, Pasta, and Rice.  Without these things, I probably wouldn't eat most of the time.

6. Skype (as well as Email and Social Media).  I'm over 4,000 miles away from Minnesota, where my life is.  So it's nice to have an easy way to get in contact with my family when they're not here, Jack (significant other), and anyone else who wants to talk to me who isn't here.  It's a beautiful thing.  My great grandmother used to have a Chinese (?) exchange student before the internet existed.  I think I was discussing this with my mom before... we still wonder what it would be like to be so far away from home and not be able to get in easy contact with your family.  This student would have either needed to make a really expensive phone call on the landline or they would have needed to send a letter, to which he would get a reply a minimum of two weeks later.  That would be really hard.  I don't think I could do it.  So really, I have it easy right now.

7. Always Having Something New To Explore (and Never Being Bored).  I'm thankful that I currently live in a small country where something new is always around the corner.  There's always something new that I can explore.  Also, even though I live in a relatively small town, I still haven't explored everything, even after living here for over three months.  It's really hard to be bored here.  You'd have to specifically set out out to be bored in order to be bored, and even then, you'd still probably fail.

I think that's a good list for this year.  It's kind of a full year.  I have a lot more to be thankful for, but I share those things with you as they happen, pretty much.

Thanks for Reading!  I have tons more to share, so look for a post about France and Thanksgiving for sure in the coming days.

Tot Ziens!


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