Thanksgiving 2017


I spent most of Thursday morning in our office, hugging my fellow staff members and explaining the significance of the day.  Why it is so important for Americans.  “Today is a national holiday in America.  It’s a day where you spend time telling people you love how thankful you are to have them in your life.  I am thankful for you.”  Then answered a lot of questions about turkey and Black Friday.  I’m a little sad that American consumerism is a bigger deal here than spending a day being thankful.  It was also my first Thanksgiving not watching any sports and having to work – granted only a half day.

My roommate/co-worker posted this on her Facebook wall:

With the time zone difference today is Thanksgiving in Cambodia. Walking to breakfast this morning I was about to turn onto a side road when I heard someone yell “Happy Thanksgiving!” I turned around to find Jenna the only other American on staff walking towards me to give me a hug. I stopped and realized how rare that greeting is today. I said, “Happy Thanksgiving!” We hugged and just stood there for a moment.

Speaking of work, most of my Thanksgiving morning was spent interviewing two girls to collect their testimony of their life before and after coming to Daughters.  There were a lot of tears – from the girls, myself, and our translator.  It really set the tone of how good God is to each and every one of us and how He is working in the lives of so many here in Cambodia.  Definitely one of those moments where you go into the meeting thinking you are helping someone else out and you end up leaving the meeting feeling like instead they poured into your own soul.

I was blessed to get to celebrate TWO Thanksgivings this year.  The first one was with a group of missionaries who I was connected with via Oaks Parish / Imago Dei back in Portland.

Pre-Meal Moto Muscle. Thanks, Jong for hiding my small muscles with your big guns.
Mid-meal smiles with the American crew.

On actual Thanksgiving, Ruth, the Founder of Daughters / my next door neighbor, who is British, hosted her first Thanksgiving (and second ever Thanksgiving) for a bunch of Americans.  I was so blessed to eat even more turkey.  This turkey was extra special to me since I bought it frozen at a local super market and then road it down the streets of Phnom Penh, a little worried it would fall out of my front basket and what the protocol would be for rescuing it from the ground!  Additional fun fact: Turkeys defrost WAY faster in Cambodia.

Clearly I didn’t get the memo to look up in time…
Talking about Thanksgiving foods and teaching American cooking with a Khmer friend.

I think the thing about being an expat is learning about your new home culture.  I’m not going to lie, it was fun to flip that learning session for a day and share about my own culture to those who wanted to learn more.

“It’s a day where you spend time telling people you love how thankful you are to have them in your life.  I am thankful for you.”

I am thankful for you.

Wishing you a (belated) blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends.  How did you celebrate this year?

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