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Published: November 27th 2010
25 November 2010
Today is Thanksgiving. It is also the 25th, which means that in one month it will be Christmas day and in two months we will be in the airport waiting for our flight home.
I am listening to my “feliz navidad” playlist, which predictably only has Christmas music in Spanish.
We won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving here until Saturday, but since today is the mero mero it warrants a blog.
I will be forever thankful for Peace Corps Nicaragua, especially to the secretary Mimi and to Marva and Ximena in the medical office. Because of Peace Corps I have learned to speak Spanish, I’ve gotten to know this beautiful Central American country and, of course, Lenin appeared and I inherited a new family. Peace Corps wasn’t easy and Nicaragua is certainly not an easy country, but it was worth it.
Thank you to the US Embassy in Managua. They have been kind, informative, and extremely efficient. Lenin and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work and for approving not only his tourist visa last year but also his immigrant visa this year. I wish all bureaucracy could work so efficiently.
Thank you to my fellow volunteers, especially to AG 48 and to all the health volunteers in Madriz, past and present. The health volunteers were here for me in the beginning, helping me figure stuff out, particularly Kadesha, Lisa, Matt & Jess, and Katie, though she wasn’t health.
Thank you to all of Ag 48. Only you guys know what we went through these two years. Thank you to Erin for going with me to check out all things wedding related in Esteli, for being there to help pick up wedding guests, and for your straight forward manner, good advice, and friendship. Thank you to Austin for having cell service, for answering your phone, and for listening to my rants and freak outs, both on my cell and in person over a beer in Managua. Jade, you completed our cracked out group and were an essential part of my service. To all the rest of Ag 48 you were always there, full of humor, help and advice. And to Sara thank you for keeping in touch for these two years and for all of your awesome support.
I am extremely thankful for my family and all the support they have given me since I was born and continue to selflessly give. Since I left home my mother has kept my mailbox full of cards, thoughts, and gifts… all through college, Philly, Beijing, and Nicaragua. Their hearts, home, and kitchen have always been open to my friends and now to me and my husband. Thank you to Ben for always making me smile and laugh with your humor and wit and for visiting me in college, in Beijing, and for being a groomsmen in my wedding and translating for mom and dad here in the Nica.
Thank you to my extended family and to my awesome hometown friends, college friends and coworkers for all of your support in these past two difficult years. Every card, every thoughtful package, and each packet of vegetable seeds that you sent meant so much to me and brightened my day each time I found one in the post office and got home and ran to my room to sit on my bed under my mosquito net and opened them. Thank you especially to my aunt Lori, to Shannon in New Zealand, and of course to Arielle for many great gifts and packages and post cards. Thank you to Liz, Kristy, Cassi and Christina for all of the letters of encouragement, cards, and packages, and emails.
Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and came down to Nicaragua for my wedding. Thank you for being here, for dealing with my one word answers and frustration in both languages, for taking care of my bouquet, for being brave enough to come to the 2nd poorest nation in the western hemisphere and for keeping smiles on in front of me. Thank you for all of your support, for your patience, and your sense of adventure. Kristy, thank you so much for the beautiful photographs and for being so flexible. Arielle, thank you for all the thought you put into my wedding from sending me wedding magazines months in advance to bringing makeup for me and so much from Sephora for me and Lenin to translating the service to just being an amazing maid of honor and friend. To the friends and family who couldn’t make it down but who have been extremely supportive and have gifts waiting for us Stateside, thank you thank you.
Thank you to my two mothers here in Nicaragua.
First, thank you to Doña Moncha and her family outside of Esteli for being my host family during training and for being here for me since my first day. To Ajenor, Isaac, Metzel, JJ, Xilonem, Edward, Rebecca, Iris, and of course Moncha thank you for great food, great frescos, great stories, and for helping me adjust and thrive in your country and for making it up to my wedding. You have been an absolutely essential part of my experience and you will always be in my thoughts, in my heart, and I know your door and kitchen will be open for decades to come and there will always be a bed waiting for me.
To my second mother here in Moropoto, thank you so incredibly much to the Torrez family and especially to Doña Leoncia, my Mamita. Thank you for always having your kitchen open to me, for endless beans, tortillas and, hot sugary coffee. Thank you for being serene, for trying to understand me, and for your support of new ideas and new family. Thank you for taking care of Lenin and his crazy American. Thank you for knowing when to not say anything, for always listening, and for giving advice. Thank you for opening your heart, your mind, and your house and kitchen to all of my family and my friends who came down for the wedding. Thank you for taking care of me when I’ve been sick or sad or homesick or fighting with your grandson. Thank you for sharing Lenin and then letting him go. Don’t worry, Mamita, we will be back to visit many times in your lifetime.
Thank you thank you thank you and I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
much love and cariño from this side of the world
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