So I am a little behind in my updates, but last Thursday was Thanksgiving and it was by far the best day here in Bodo. It didn't start of so well as I just got agitated by some things of the past and it ruined most of the first half of my day. It just got me thinking too much and feeling bad about things. But around 4pm, when the people started showing up and I was running around helping Libby and Destinee get everything set up, that's when the day improved to become one of the best I've had since being here in Norway. I missed most of the planning since I was gone in London, but our day started around 10am as Libby put the 7kg bird in the oven. Then later, Destinee started making the stuffing and all I helped with cutting some vegetables and made a run to the store to get some rolls for the 30 people we were expecting.
Around 4pm, we started dragging our tables out into the hallway, collecting chairs from all over Hoglimyra, getting excited for all of our friends we had invited, and surprised at how well the turkey had
turned out. After all, you never know what will happen when three Americans invite almost 30 other international students over for dinner. And by 5pm, we had everything ready but the rolls and the people starting filtering in. By 5:15pm, just as I pulled the rolls out of the oven, we saw a huge group of our friends from Flatvold coming up the way and laughing. That's when our dinner and party really started.
The next few hours were full of telling Thanksgiving traditions, laughing, celebrating, and just enjoying each others company. And I played gopher for a bit, getting people some water and tea and coffee and just enjoying the sound of laughter resonating through the hallway and into my apartment. Besides the time with my wonderful Russian family, I haven't had a whole lot of laughter lately in the past seven months -- just sadness, remorse, and regret. And that's not the way to live. So when I heard them all laughing, I leaned against my door as Christmas music just filtered from my room, and just smiled at them all. At one point I looked over at Libby and she said, "This...this is the best Thanksgiving
ever." And I just smiled back thinking, yah it is. It was probably one of the best holidays I've ever spent away from home. And there have been a lot over the years and may be a lot more to come, but that one, last Thursday...it was memorable. We had traditional American food then even got our Russian family to bring us some potatoes and herring and the New Zealand woman brought some noodle salad and the Italians and a Polish girl brought some cookies, the Chinese woman brought some homemade scones, and we all just shared our Norwegian rolls and adored Libby's apple/blueberry crisp for desert. Ah what a night. And it ended with some nice goodbyes as our Russian family helped us clean before we all went downstairs and played cards into the late hours of the next morning.
And this past weekend, it was spent with the Russians just drinking, playing cards, occasionally eating, and waking up to snow. We haven't had snow in like a month so finally get it just made the world beautiful. We even went out the other night, walking beneath a beautiful starry sky, and tortured a snowman with candles and
sparklers for eyes. And last night...well...it wasn't easy. We went downstairs around 8pm and stayed with our girls until 5am this morning. And when the time came, we said our goodbyes, cried, laughed, and promised to see each other again one day. And I of course lost it when Nastya hugged me and said, "Goodbye my little American sister." It's hard saying goodbye when you know you may never see the person again. And this was a really hard goodbye -- one of the hardest I've had in a very long time. And it's only going to get worse from here, but it was bittersweet and we can only be hopeful and say that we'll meet up again, run off to Russia and be reunited with our family. And if the day comes, I would totally do it. After all, good friends that call you family -- those are the ones worth holding onto! Goodbye, my Russian sisters. Ja tibya lublu (Ya tyebya lyublyu)..."i love you"
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