Thanksgiving isn't a Guatemalan holiday, but it's one of a handful of holidays that Peace Corps gives us off - to find a delicious traditional feast or make one; making one meaning pay some exorbitant cost at Wal-Mart for fresh cranberries, and track down a good pumpkin pie or two. Oh, the lengths one goes to when subconsciously homesick.
This year my visiting cousins and I opted for the first route, at a little gem of a hippie avocado farm outside of Antigua, appropriately named EarthLodge, where for $16 I stuffed myself silly on mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salad, and apple pie. Worth it!
Back to Thanks-giving, I try to subscribe to the school of thought that we ought to give thanks every day. Even so, it's good to say our thanks out loud with a bit of fanfare now and then, I think. In that spirit, there are many things I'm thankful for, but say I had to pick five, and stick to them;
(1) To get things rolling, I'm thankful for what in English we can only describe as nature. All our oxygen.. drinking water.. fertile soils.. Where would we be without you, tree? And moss and air and rocks and insects and bacteria and everything.
(2) Thankful for them:
(3) Thankful for this little guy and every flea on his head:
(4) Thankful for cell phones, which let me talk to them:
(5) And above all, so thankful for him!
Has living in Guatemala for two years made me appreciate more what I have? I think for the most part, although not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. Four distinct seasons, hot water for washing dishes, a washing machine for clothes and evil heavy blankets, (more) predictable structure in my work and daily life, waking up next to the love of my life every morning. These are things I relish now in their absence.
So while it's been extraordinarily frustrating at times, I have to admit that in the end, I'm grateful for the good and the bad. They come together. A package deal. And maybe that's a sixth thing to be thankful for.