Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Only Thing You Can Depend on is Your Family…

This is something I am becoming more and more aware of. Yet, your family can be made up of more than just blood relatives. Being away from home, and not really knowing a lot of people here, I am forming a new family. My new family is comprised of those few that care about my wellbeing, more than just the fact that I am “the American.” They are the few who are actually concerned with me being happy while in Russia; in fact, they are even going out of their way so that I may celebrate Thanksgiving. Alina mainly has taken it upon herself to give me a Thanksgiving. On Thursday, I get to look forward to a Thanksgiving dinner, plus a “surprise.” Although she could not find a turkey, she did find a duck and she’ll prepare that and many other things for me. I cannot express my gratitude to her enough, especially since she is very busy in her own life. For her to take such an interest in me, even though sometimes I can be a real ass, means the world to me. I was afraid that my Thanksgiving dinner would comprise of a Big Mac and fries, now I get to look forward to a real dinner. Not only has she been very kind to me, but her sister, Olya, has been as well. They both have taken such good care of me that I would be lost without them. Yet, they are not the only ones who make up my Russian family. Galina and Lucy both are respectively parts of my family. Galina has been more than helpful in my settling down here, and is the reason I have a phone to keep in contact with the few people I have met here. Not to mention, Galina has also connected me with a couple of Americans, who are here in Rostov, and have invited me to a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. Can you believe that? I’m in Russia, and didn’t think I’d even get one Thanksgiving dinner but because how kind everyone is here I get two! Then Lucy, oh my Lucy…what can I say about her? Well, she is my best friend here, and although we don’t get to spend much time with each other anymore, I value her the most. She is the sister I never had. All these people are very important to me, and I don’t know how I would live here without any of them. Having a ‘family,’ I feel connected with here, makes even the bad days seem good. Although, my Thanksgiving day won’t be the same here as it would be at home, mostly because I’m working from 9am to 8pm, it will be one I’ll never forget. If I don’t get a chance to post something before then, I just wanted to tell all of you at home Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you are grateful for what you have, because others in the world aren’t as lucky! Have fun and remember me when you sit down for dinner, because all of you will be with me on Thursday. I love and miss all of you…

What I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving: (Okay, I know this is corny, but I don’t care!)
1. My life: A year ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be doing what I am, and actually enjoying it (for the most part…).
2. My family: Although I don’t get to talk or see them a lot now, I know that they are still with me and supporting me, which means the world to me.
3. My friends (both here and at home): I know I am a difficult person, so the fact that you are all still my friends is a shock to me.
4. The health of all those close to me: self-explanatory.
5. My Country: Okay, okay, so I’m not the biggest patriot out there, but I do appreciate the fact that in America we have so many things the rest of the world doesn’t…especially Taco Bell and Starbucks!
6. All the beautiful things in the world: poetry, people, music, nature, ect.
7. Those few people from home who e-mail me on a normal basis: No need to name, you know who you are. However, your e-mails always make me smile, and know that people care! Thanks, keep them coming.
8. The lady who cleans my room: So polite to knock on the door and understand I don’t speak Russian, plus clean towels are a plus!
9. Sophie, the girl who feeds me breakfast each morning: Again, we cannot communicate but she always makes sure I have enough to eat in the morning, because she thinks it’s my only meal of the day. It isn’t, but I only see her at breakfast.
10. Non-important but nice stuff to have: Taco Bell, Starbucks (hint, hint, for when I return!), movies in English, television shows in English, Madonna’s new album, Garbage (especially for helping me find Kristin), money, and lastly Angelina Jolie (because even if you can’t speak the same language, you can always talk and understand each other when it comes to her!)

Again, Happy Thanksgiving! With much love and appreciation,


At 8:16 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

I'm so glad to hear you'll have people to celebrate with. Happy Thanksgiving, James!

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Riekena said...

...and a Happy Thanksgiving to you also, James! It was nice of you to include us in your 'thanks' (hopefully you mean me too). I would like to say that I'm thankful for the holiday nog that will be joining me for dinner and keeping me warm all night long. Glad to hear you will have actual people though. Good times to all.


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