Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Eid Al-Shukr!!

This has been a full past few weeks. My health is improving and I’m pumped to dive into more relationships and to begin my research. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to mention a short list of what I am most thankful for this year:

-The United States Institute of International Education, The William J. Fulbright Foundation, The US Department of State, the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, and even Seven Corners. -My family and friends who are infinitely patient and willing to send me love, even though I am shamefully horrible at communication and keeping in contact with you. (My deepest apologies! You are still loved!)-my college education-Yearbook class in high school where, apparently, I learned all the professional skills I’m using in adult life now-one very special man in my life, and his faith in us. -an awesome community of friends here in Morocco, especially my fabulous roommate. -For Mustapha/Stevie and Saiid/Happy Johnson, who take us cruising around Fes and teach us to cook fish and hook us up with zween jelabas-For my host family and sisters-good health and safety and relative freedom-My absolutely incredible parents. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. -Transitional justice-the string of mentors I’ve had, especially the women who have guided me by their own wisdom and experience. –Peace-Loving Donkeys.-simplicity.-the sunrise over the old medina and the Middle Atlas Mountains in the early morning.-mint tea and dark chocolate and chicken tajine with apricots and Fessi fruit salads and the Marche Central and peanut butter imported from Qatar.-occasional hot (and potable!) water.-Hassan our Hanout Man, Hassan our Landlord, Lalla Fatima my Moroccan Granny, Layla my cooking teacher, Abdelkhatir my fruit man, Driss my fruit salad man who saves me from creepy men who follow me down Chefchaoueni.-Grace. -the opportunity to learn a few new languages.-The Red Tent (my apartment). -The word “Shnu” in Moroccan Arabic, and “inshahallah”, and “iiiieeeya…waaaxa”.-Everyone who has shown me unconditional hospitality that I will pay forward someday.-capoeira and surfing. -The call to prayer 5 times per day, reminding me of what is truly important. -every letter and package I’ve ever received abroad.-my Celiac disease, which, I’m convinced, will save my life someday (if it doesn’t kill me first).- I am thankful for WiFi and nearby coffee shops.- for normal poops, on the rare occasion that I have them.- my homegirl Ann Wilkens.-The Batcave, in a serious way. – Seasons.- ovens.- good books in English.- professors that sent me here: Joe Elder, Jim Delehantey, Jon Pevehouse, Reem Hilal, Edris Makward, Andrew Irving, Maati Monjib.- having red hair (my international friend-maker).- cheap bars of chocolate on train rides (my universal friend-maker).- my brother- and sister-in-laws (welcome to the family).-National Geographic Magazine.-

I am thankful for what is, what has been, and what is to come. Beyond any experience or accomplishment, I’m finding that I just want my life to be a symphony of thankfulness, because that is where true perspective is found.

Dear reader, wherever you are, please know that you are loved, on this most reflective and joy-filled holiday.

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