Hidden Valley Waterfall

Hidden Valley Waterfall

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thankful for a lot

Although it is not officially Thanksgiving yet, our school celebrated today with a nice gathering of friends who all brought delicious food to share. I learned three things today that I will not soon forget. 1) I can make homemade stuffing and it's easy to do! 2) I like pumpkin cookies (although I am still not a fan of the pie). 3) I cannot eat like I used to!!! My stomach was not as forgiving as I would have liked it to be. However, I spent a few hours talking to friends I rarely see, holding a precious new baby (there is nothing like snuggling with a new child to make you feel so warm and fuzzy), and making more memories with my closest friends here. As if that were not enough to be grateful for, the day was just getting started.

At 3, I was picked up by a driver to attend a birthday party of a student from last year. I really miss him and his family and wanted to see them all, so I thought, "Why not".  I did not realize it was over 30 minutes away. I kept dozing off in the car b/c of all of the food I had just eaten at school.  When I got there, the family ran to give me big hugs. I was put at the middle table, in the center of attention, and treated like a long-lost family member that everyone was so happy to see. It felt great to be around the family again.  After about two hours, the party was wrapping up. I figured I would go home, get a nap, and just chill the rest of the evening. Nope. I was wrong.

I had forgotten about dinner. I was expected to go, and I didn't want to disappoint.  We ate at a local Chinese place right near my house. It was delicious turn-style servings of everything from squid to duck to crayfish and much, much more. Some things I am willing to try, but others, I just put my foot down. I didn't want to eat the pigeon (or whatever bird it was), still looking at me, with his fried little head. I also avoided the fish.  I did try some duck, but not much. I stuck to veggies, rice, and crayfish - things I know well. Even though I had still not digested my turkey meal from earlier, I ate a little of this and a little of that, but it all adds up. I am currently on my chair, thinking how I can roll myself to bed.

All through dinner, I was treated like one of the group. Well, minus the fact that I needed everything translated. However, I was included in conversation, asked for advice, given advice, and made to feel like a true friend. They even insist that I download an app for my phone so I can get in on the group! :) I am always grateful for good relationships in my life, but when they are unexpected and so welcoming, you can't help but be even more grateful.  At least I am.

Today was a fantastic day all around and if I had to do it all over again, the only thing I would change (knowing what I know now) is how much I ate at the first meal! I now know to carry a to-go box at all times. haha.

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