23 November 2010

giving thanks

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I like to spend time reflecting on the great people and blessings in my life. Some of my favorite things to do in anticipation of this holiday are to write at least one thank you e-mail a day (I got this idea this year from Marta at marta writes, and I love it!) and to write down things I'm thankful for on slips of paper to re-read at Thanksgiving dinner. This year, as I approach the four-month mark of arriving in Costa Rica (which just happens to fall on Thanksgiving!), I feel that I have even more to be thankful for than usual:

::The people I have met since moving to Costa Rica have been so friendly, and have continuously gone out of their way to be helpful as I get settled into life in a new country. My students are wonderful, their families are supportive of me and their children, and my co-workers have given me advice and rides to work and elsewhere every single day, invited me to parties, etc. The friends I have made here are fun and great to talk to. Everyone's friendliness has made the adjustment to living here so smooth.

::The many, many people who helped me coordinate an international move. There were so many details to take care of, and countless people came from all different directions to help me get everything taken care of: friends helped me pack up my apartment, others let me stay with them when my things were already in storage, others gave advice on living abroad and what to bring and what to leave behind, others traveled with me to help me take care of business when paperwork issues came up, and my mom continues to save all my mail for me and lets me know when I'm called for jury duty or when random bills are due! I could not have done it without all their amazing assistance.

::The support and encouragement I have received from family and friends as I have moved to a place even further from home than Texas.

::All of the forms of technology that have allowed me to keep in touch with my family and friends...between Skype, e-mail, and Facebook, it almost seems like we're not 2,000 miles apart!

::Most of all, I'm thankful for my family. I come from a big extended family, and we are very close. Last week, my uncle went through a major surgery. The 17-hour operation went as well as could be hoped for, and he is recovering faster than expected, which is the number one thing I am thankful for this year. My uncle's strength and positivity as he goes through the recovery process and gears up for further treatments are truly awe-inspiring.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with the things that make life good.

Image found here.

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