Gracias

¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias! Happy Thanksgiving!

Pardon the belated Thanksgiving wishes. I did not have a long, work-free weekend like many weekends- well, I know a lot of American college kids were actually up to here with pre-finals work this weekend. But still. I had class on the third Thursday of November for the first time in my life. Like my host dad said, it was just another Thursday in Chile.

But we gringos made sure to celebrate. One of the guys was generous enough to offer his house for the evening. He bought us two turkeys and we contributed the rest of the food and drinks. I have to admit, I was doubtful. Everyone was incredibly busy that week with final exams and papers (because the school year has pretty much ended at my university here), and people were actually buying the ingredients for their dishes at 5 on Thursday afternoon. But not only did everyone contribute a dish, we had more than enough food, and it was all really delicious!

Of course, what was most important was that we were all together. I think for many of us it was our first Thanksgiving away from our families. I know that for me, the day was a little poignant, knowing my family was all together sharing the same meal we’ve had for years, and I was “missing out.” But once I was with all my friends, just sitting and talking and stuffing ourselves with food as the night got cooler, it really did feel like Thanksgiving.

Turkey, sweet carrots, gravy, homemade mac and cheese, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. There was also a salad, and fried ice cream with pumpkin bread and cinnamon rolls for dessert. It was delicious.

The aftermath. Believe it or not, two medium turkeys were just enough for around 20 people!

Oh, and the next day I baked up an apple pie. It was pretty spectacular.

Muy, muy rico.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I am thankful that I had a place to celebrate Thanksgiving with some really great people. I’m thankful that I came down here with such a good group. I’m thankful that I have a host family who makes me feel like one of their own. I’m thankful for all the love and support of my real family. I’m thankful for the Internet, because when people went abroad not that many years ago, they couldn’t keep in touch with their loved ones as easily as we can now. I’m thankful for my friends who have listened to all of my study abroad stories and have been there for me when it’s been hard. I’m thankful for a second summer. I’m thankful for for this opportunity to live in another country for five months. I’m thankful that I still have a little time left.

And I’m thankful for everyone who has read this blog! Your comments have been so appreciated. Thank you for letting me share my experience with you!

I’ve got just about two weeks left before I get on a plane to Miami once again. In that time, I am taking a trip, my first and only real big trip of the semester. It’s not actually that big of a trip. I’m going to the south of Chile, which I’ve heard is where I have to go to truly say that I’ve experience Chile. In the next week, I will be bussing around to Puerto Montt, the island of Chiloé, and Valdivia. I’ll probably be pretty disconnected except email and phone for that week. It’s going to be a lot of sightseeing kind of stuff: there’s a national park in Chiloé, a lot of historic architecture, yummy seafood, chocolate, and just general seeing another side of this big country of which I’ve seen so little. Hopefully I will have lots of good stories and photos for you when I come back!

And after that, maybe I’ll take a day at the beach, and then…a week. One more week.

Thank you for coming along for the ride, and thanks for waiting to see what happens next.

Chao chao! Cuídense mucho! (Take care!)

With love,

Gaby

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