Happy Turkey Day to all! While I don’t have the fortune to be eating turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallow, etc., I enjoyed a feast of my own last night as I sent off yet another dear friend. The Chinese couple I’ve grown close to has very recently decided to return to China and begin a family. The wife left today and the husband will follow in the near months. The decision came very suddenly and I was not at all prepared since my head was wrapped around of my French friends’ departures. True to Chinese form, we had a feast last night, and today they parted. And that, marks the end of another section of my life story.
Earlier in the week, I sent off Gregoire, the French guy in my village. Among other festivities, I threw a fête chez moi. The people present were all the usual and we had one final evening of good food, good drinks, and good music. The next morning, we enjoyed delicious crêpes and Starbucks coffee on my front porch. This is the end of the beginning. People part ways. Gregoire will go back to France, return to a life of modern conveniences, but the memory of all of us enjoying that windy Sunday eating Nutella crêpes is shared only by those hanging out at my front porch that morning.
Tomorrow begins the next round of goodbye as I spend the last weekend with Gary before he parts for France. Lots of goodbyes in a week; one that marks the beginning of the holiday season. My feelings are mixed. While I am obviously sad about parting with the people who just came into my life, I am also thankful for the opportunity to have met them. My first three months at post, the supposedly longest three months of a PCV’s service, would not have been the wonderful bliss it was without them. People come in and out of my life, and it’s always interesting to see who remain in my life despite the distance and who fades.
On this particular Thursday, I am missing home, wherever that may be. This year marks the second time in three years that I’ve missed Thanksgiving. This trend is becoming more frequent as I continue to jet set around the world. It would be nice if I wasn’t in shorts and t-shirt hoping for a drop of rain from the sky. It would be nice if I were having a food coma in front of the TV from overdosing on the ridiculous amount of food that exists on this particular day. It would be nice if I was cozy up in a sweater, and there is a light layer of snow outside my window. It would be nice to go to a movie on Thanksgiving night with my family.
It would be nice, but an exciting, worldly life full of exotic experiences does not come without a cost. These are the sacrifices I am making, and that’s really okay. Later today, I have made a Skype appointment to speak to the fam at 8am Central Time, 3pm Cameroon time. I will talk to them and get a big nasty wave of homesickness, and then I will be thankful that they are there for me, despite oceans away.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the people in my life, both past and present. I am eternally thankful for the opportunities and experience I’ve been able to partake thus far, and I am thankful for each new day that I am able to continue this journey.