Last year I did not celebrate Thanksgiving. I had barely arrived here and was trying to settle into my new world. All the last minute preparations and logistics to get here eclipsed any sense that a holiday was approaching. Upon arrival, I was submerged into a tropical climate with new neighbors from Canada, Switzerland and Ethiopia – all places where our Thanksgiving day is not observed. So I was fine to let the tradition of the holiday pass me by and simply acknowledged the day with a prayer of thanksgiving in my heart.
But this year I have come full circle and have made a host of new friends. So I gladly said “yes” to the invitation to join in with many of the Cayo ex-pat crowd for a gathering and traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It was hosted by my friends, Ed and Jo, who have been living at the hotel next door to my development since nearly a year before I arrived, while they wait for their house here to be completed (and sadly, they are victims of my builder’s follow-thru failure as well). We each pitched in $5 to cover turkey, dressing, gravy and plates and then brought a side dish (I brought my famous stuffed eggs). I already knew (on some level) many who attended and it was fun to spend time with them as well as get to know some new folks. Below are a few pictures of some of my Ecuador “ex-pat family”:
We are just now starting to enter what is basically our summer and this morning I woke up to a gloriously sunny day! As Charcoal and I were enjoying our beautiful breakfasting view, I reflected on the fact that, despite the many difficulties of this past year (some I have mentioned and others I have not), I truly have SO MUCH to be thankful for!