Thursday, November 24, 2011

Barcelona: Day 93 : Giving Thanks .

So it's the third Thanksgiving that I am celebrating away from home, and in a sense it has become a bit of a tradition to not have my Thanksgiving dinner at home. In some ways, it's depressing; missing out on a little time with the family and getting to feast in the peace of your own home. At the same time though it's interesting to sit in with other families and see how their traditions and cooking goes. But this year was different, because there were no families to scamper off to the holidays. This year, we were on our own.

So naturally, I think everyone wants to do their best to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner for this strictly American holiday. We heard stories from the teachers about other groups that had giant meals and huge turkeys. We don't have an oven though, so it's virtually impossible to cook a whole turkey. We were lucky enough to find some giant drumsticks in the grocery and boiled those and then fried them to brown the outside. It was, in a word, delicious.

It became a bit of a pot luck Thanksgiving with probably about half of the people here between Clemson and Texas A&M pitching in and bringing something different. But I have to say, we covered all the essentials. We had turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and beans and corn, along with some new flavors, like a Mexican style salsa and spicy nacho cheese and some tortilla chips. Let's just say it was Thanksgiving, Barcelona Style.

I like this holiday a lot, and not just for the feast that you get to sit down and have. It usually stirs up some pretty profound feelings for me. It makes you actually think about the things that you are so blessed to have, whether they are God-given talents or things you've learned, or even a simple roof over your head and food on the table and clothes on your back.

This year is especially memorable because of the fact that we are in Barcelona, and have had this wonderful opportunity to come experience life in another country, and get a chance to work on studio programs and in a completely different environment than we are used to. This is the point of study abroad, to really take you out of your element and have you learn to adapt to another one. It's not easy, but it's a life experience, without a doubt.

We've also had the opportunity of travel. And all that travel wouldn't be possible without the job I had this summer, where I had lots of hours, steady pay, some overtime, and a great boss that was very flexible. I don't think I could really have it any better, and I thank all the people that are making my life what it is right now.

It's not just the things though. To those people who've kept in contact with me, I really appreciate it! I'm going to rattle off some names just to give you guys some recognition for the efforts you've put in; and you deserve to be rewarded. So here's to you guys; Brindley, Josh, Taylor, Jordan, Sofia, Rissa, Julianna, Grace, and I'm sure I'm forgetting others. And let's not forget those that I've chatted with just once or twice, you guys are loved and praised as well. It can get a little lonely here sometimes, and having that makes it a lot easier.

So, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Given the circumstances, I think we did pretty well here in Barcelona. My tummy was stuffed, and we have some great memories to take with us through the rest of life. Happy Thanksgiving!

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