Today I am Thankful

1:03 AM

Back home in America, today is Thanksgiving. I suppose over the years, like most other American holidays, it's become commercialized, an opportunity for poultry companies and stuffing producers to make money. But the real reason for this holiday is to give thanks. Malaysia has made me thankful for so much.
Today I am thankful for family. A family in America, one that skypes me and sends me wonderful care packages. A family that somehow makes me feel just as loved when I'm 15,000 km away from home compared to when I'm sitting the living room. I miss them like crazy. But also, a Malaysian family. A wonderful, if not slightly crazy host family that has taken me in and treats me like a sister/ daughter. They deserve a million hugs for putting up with me when I'm ridiculously homesick and laughing me when I'm not. My host family have taught me so much about so many different things.
Today I am thankful for food. I didn't have turkey or mashed potatoes, but still managed to feast, Malaysian style. I ate cultural dishes such as durian, nasi, roti canai, mangosteen and mee udang. Not what you'd call a a typical Thanksgiving dinner, but still delicious.
Today I am thankful for friends. American friends: people that will fill me in on the latest BHS gossip and promise they'll be there when I get back. Malaysian friends: people that will translate anything for me and teach me about this beautiful country and culture.
Today I am thankful for my fellow exchange students, who fall under the categories of family and friend. Sometimes it feels like they are the only people that understand what's going on and can put words to emotions you have no idea how to describe. Especially me fellow YES Abroad Malaysians. I don't know where I'd be without them. These are people I can call while crying and be laughing within 5 minutes.
Today I am thankful for the people that don't fall into any of these categories. Teachers, pastors, shopkeepers, the man that opened my durian and 12 mangosteen for me tonight. People that have touched my life in ways great and small.
Today I am thankful for the YES Abroad program and AFS. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that I'm living halfway around the world sometimes, and I am forever grateful that I am given a scholarship to do so.
Today I am thankful for the intangible things. Differences and similarities. Cultural sharing and meeting new people. Learning about so many new things everyday. Changing and growing as a person.
Today I am thankful for Malaysia. Malaysia is home. I am thankful for so many welcoming people, delicious food, and incredible diversity. It's strange to think that this time last year, I knew almost nothing about Malaysia, let alone thought about living here. Yet here I am.
It may not have been a typical Thanksgiving, but it's one I'll never forget.
Today I am thankful. Everyday I'm thankful. What are you thankful for?

Also shoutout to my mom for sending me thanksgiving decorations....

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7 comments

  1. like me im always dream to study at US...eat apple pie ^_^

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  2. I'd love to visit New York one day..

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  3. Im thankful for being Malaysian,but i do have that dream of being an exchange student before haha...

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  4. what is the purpose to celebrating thanksgiving?
    btw...can i have your Facebook or twitter...please.. :P

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  5. I am so glad that you got your Thanksgiving package! Now we can work on your Christmas gifts...I love your picture with the decorations - you look like the spirit of Autumn.

    Much love, MOM

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  6. dear hannah...
    happy thanks giving <3
    hope u will enjoy n happy staying here in malaysia :)


    love,
    lisa@KL

    ReplyDelete
  7. hye hannah...
    happy thanksgiving =)

    ReplyDelete

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