8 years ago, we were moving out of our house in Mechanicsburg to start our journey with Cure International. Much like the picture above, we were headed into waters that were unknown to us. Ever since, Thanksgiving has been a bit unconventional. But has always been a precious time with people we love.
No typical dressing of the turkey and preps before the gathering of loved ones. Seems like every year, there is something new. Here is our first year celebration abroad. We have so many many fond memories. I must admit that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For so many reasons, I just love the fact that it is a day set aside to be thankful. Life is so rich and celebration is so important. The famous Howarth NOODLES have been present most years!
Our years in the field have been some of the toughest yet most rewarding. Nigerien & Filipino Thanksgiving have afforded us with fellowship with not only other Americans but including others along the way. Swiss, French, Canadian, Filipino to name a few.
This year, L's sister and husband are here visiting. So wonderful to have family here to celebrate with! That is the HARDEST thing for me. Missing reunions with people I have not seen in a while. We are so thankful for family who encourage us even if it means that we live so far away. We love you all very much!
It is the eve of Thanksgiving. Traditionally that meant a lot of hustle and bustle preparing for the classic turkey dinner. It meant shopping, traveling and looking forward to a few days off. Hmmm, excited for charity clinic tomorrow. No day off here. I always send my Mom this.....the funniest video ever! Miss you Mom!
Part of the journey is embracing each day and t he people we are privileged to know, near and far. No school off tomorrow and the boys traveled to my parents house to celebrate with them. Did I mention how thankful I am for family?
Today was something quite different. A scuba/snorkeling trip, pearl milk tea and an amazing Thai message! New experiences for J & K! So fun to see the Philippines fresh and new through their eyes and excitement. Truly a day off ending with quite a bit of reflection for me.
Our day on the water was so breezy and relaxing. The snorkeling was amazing. The coral beautiful and the fish so colorful. I LOVED following a small group of banner fish.
They are some of my favorite. There were six darting around and hiding from me when they had a chance. I even saw 2 sea snakes. Usually that is occasion to FREAK OUT.
I totally kept my composure and watched then slide in and out of the coral. We really enjoyed each other's company and loved having B join us even though it was a school day. Senior SKIP day for her!
So strange to wonder what next year will bring?? Cooler air and Fall smells in the air. We will return to the US to a completely different situation than we left. New place? New job? An empty nest. We love this journey and it will not end when we leave the Philippines. Another challenge and adjustment, but God has not failed us yet. I must say, it will be nice to be closer to family, but the traditions that we have created will be missed as well. Here is our first celebration here in the Philippines.
Each year our group seems to change and it is quite fun. I loved reminiscing through these photos but could not capture it all. There have been many meals shared and many laughs. I love this picture.....I am sure tomorrow will be just as fun if not more!
So tomorrow, it is a reservation for 18 at Vikings. 13 Americans, 2 Canadians, 2 Filipinos, and a Brit! Yep, unconventional as it may be, we are thrilled with the people that God surrounds us with. It will be fun to have family and friends around the table tomorrow evening. That is something quite wonderful...Happy Thanksgiving!