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Be thankful

It’s already that time of year when the turkeys get cooked, the pies get made and the NFL plays two often unimportant games on Thanksgiving day (Wahoo!  This year they both meant something!).  I’m excited about all the good food and time to be spent with good friends.

But I must admit, as I find every year, it’s hard to look at the weather here and get into the holiday spirit.  Being an original East coaster, I’m used to the crisp chill in the air and the occasional flurry of snow on Thanksgiving day (or more than flurries!).  And having spent almost 20 years in Colorado before moving to Cuenca, I could always depend on at least the Fall colors on the trees and cool, cool, nights.

Nonetheless, I’m still thankful.  Thankful to be here in this beautiful city and country.Thankful that they let me come without much of an issue.  In fact, most expatriates I know have had a pretty easy time getting their permanent resident visas and cedulas.  No need to walk for hundreds or thousands of miles.  No need to scale fences or face off with military.  No need to beg for asylum after escaping terrible conditions in our homeland.

And I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made here.  And for Codie.  For everything she does.  Without her I probably would have been one of the expatriates that left after two years.  It’s hard to know that because I met her a year after I came here.  But I can see the struggle others go thru and realize just how much easier (and happier) she made my transition here.

As for friends, there are so many that make my days better.  In no particular order they are Chris, Pete, Miguel, Rosa, Rodrigo, Paul, Teo, Leslie, Mateas, Jack, Linda, Kristen and Lila, Pauloa, Fernando, Susan and Reed, Veronica, Steve, Jony, David, Cesar, Lenny, Chris, Felix, Julius, Tony and so many more expats and Ecuadorians I know I have forgotten to mention who make my life here so much richer.

I’m thankful to have everything I need here with never a worry about eating, or where I will sleep or who will help me through the hard times.  I’m thankful for my life and never feeling persecuted or like I was driven from my country.

So at this time of year, I want to ask all of you to think about how thankful you are and how you can help pass that on to others.  It’s the time of year when many people think of charity, and this year I can think of no better place to offer that than to the Cuenca Soup Kitchen.  They feed 140 people 4 days a week who can’t be thankful for the same things I have.  But they are thankful everyday for a meal put into their stomachs, and more importantly into the stomachs of their children.

That’s my shameless pitch for an organization I support.  I know the good they are doing and I’m thankful to Bob Higgins for putting his heart and soul into getting the Cuenca Soup Kitchen off the ground and for having grown it to what it is today.

With that I’ll leave you all and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!