Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is the second holiday that I have missed. The first was Halloween, but I don't love Halloween so I didn't care to miss it. Thanksgiving on the other hand, I LOVE. Thursday was a bit difficult but here is how I got through it..

Firsts things first. When you're teaching on a holiday in a foreign country, you bring your culture to your students! Amelia made an awesome powerpoint with the basic history of Thanksgiving, the foods we eat, and what we do on that day (aka eat food, nap, and pretend to watch football). Then I talked to them about being thankful and I made them do a typical handprint turkey where they wrote what they were thankful for. Some turkeys became rainbows and some were made into Angry Birds, but I was so happy to be able to share our customs with my students.

Thanksgiving this year also happened to fall on my grandmother's birthday, so I videotaped my students singing to her, and they said a little message at the end. Like the Thanksgiving message I put up on Facebook, it was by far the cutest thing ever. A few periods after we videotaped, my Thai teacher gave me a pad of stationary and she wrote on it, "Happy birthday T Laura, From T Ae." As much as I tried explaining that it was not my birthday but my grandmother's, it was lost in translation and became my birthday for the day. One of the most awkward encounters ever, but presents are always much appreciated.

With much anticipation all day, we finally headed to Pooky and Erik's for Thanksgiving dinner (no I do not know Pooky or Erik, but they were amazing and cooked for us at their restaurant). A whole turkey. Mashed potatoes. Stuffing. Carrots and snow peas. Bread and butter. Apple pie. Blueberry pie. Pumpkin pie. I think it was the first time I have actually been full in Thailand. If only there had been a couch to lay on immediately after! It was a delicious meal and it really did make the holiday seem as real as it possibly could. I was surrounded by new friends that I have made over the past month and we made the best out of the holiday!
Gravy and everything!

This past year has really been one of ups and downs, but even when times have been tough, there is always something to be thankful for. There are a million things that I could list right now, but I'll leave it at this:
        I am thankful for the opportunity that I have in Thailand. Although I don't love every minute, I am always happy to have a teaching job.
        I am thankful for my students who make being here well-worth it.
        I am thankful for my coworkers who are always in the same boat as me.
        I am thankful that I haven't gotten hit by a motorbike (yet).
        I am thankful that I haven't gotten malaria, even if I think I have the symptoms once a week.
        I am thankful that my time difference between America allows me to talk to my family and friends plenty every day.
        I am thankful for being safe. I was in Bangkok this past weekend when tensions were at a high. Some voilent protests occured and I am happy to have steared clear, even though this meant missing out on lots of sight seeing.

Next year, I hope to be thankful that this experience led me to a job that I love in the Sates!

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