Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours! Being away from home during Thanksgiving is always a surreal feeling. Two years ago when I was studying abroad in Spain I had to celebrate the holiday away from the homeland, and I find myself in the same situation this year. I may not be in the US, but I’ve still been able to celebrate Thanksgiving with lots of food, friends, and technology and get in touch with loved ones back home.
A big group of Fulbrighters and friends in D.F. celebrated Friendsgiving last weekend. It felt so great to connect with everyone and enjoy awesome food that we all pitched in to bring. We even went around saying things we were thankful for, which is a typical tradition my family honors.
Today for Thanksgiving I arrived to work with cupcakes from my favorite cupcake place conveniently located 2 blocks from my apartment (dangerous, I know) and shared them with my co-workers and explained how I usually celebrate Thanksgiving with family back home. It was a great opportunity for me to share a part of my family traditions back home with my co-workers who have been so attentative and supportive to all of my random questions about Mexican culture. It felt really good to return the favor for once! I went home and skyped with my parents and extended family for awhile. It was almost like I was there!
Tomorrow, COMEXUS (the Fulbright commission here in D.F.) will be putting on a thanksgiving celebration at their office. Who knew that being away from home could still mean having a busy holiday schedule?
Being away from home for the holidays is always hard, but in a way it has made me feel even more appreciative of the wonderful things happening in my life. I’m so thankful for my family being patient with me and taking the time to navigate FaceTime, Skype, and other video chatting services to that I can be in touch with them when I need them the most. I’m thankful for friends, both here in D.F. and everywhere else, for allowing me to celebrate Thanksgiving with them and for tolerating the questionable food dishes I had brought to Friendsgiving last weekend. I’m thankful for technology that allows me to communicate for free to all of my loved ones. Finally, I’m thankful for this opportunity to be in Mexico City on a Fulbright for 10 months. Yes, it’s had ups and downs, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here and I’m excited to see where I’m headed next thanks to Fulbright.