Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thank You

It's been awhile. It's like my blog has been cast out to sea…I am (slowly) taking steps to recover it from Davy Jones's locker. It is one of my New Year’s Resolutions to continue this blog. I've had a series of thoughts that will help segue me get back into my blog. Today it’s the thanks I have for international friends.

I have friends from here, American friends. They're great and I love them dearly. But lately I’ve been thinking how lucky I am to have friends who represent a wide span of countries across our planet.

A few months ago, I attended a Thanksgiving dinner open to the Piedmont's international population so they could experience an American Thanksgiving. I was joined by people from China, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Nigeria, Egypt and far too many additional to keep track of. For the first time in awhile, I was surrounded with people speaking in SO many languages other than the ones I knew. When not knowing how to communicate, we realize how vital conversation (or understanding communication) is to our lives. Without it, you feel confused, maybe frustrated and left out, leaving you to stand there on the sidelines…at least that’s how I certainly felt!

I was invited to a Diwali celebration. How fortunate am I to have been invited into my Nepalese friend’s home to celebrate this special holiday with her family and friends? Again, I found myself very confused while they sang and danced but made up some lyrics in my head I thought would be fitting for the revelry  J She allowed me to borrow one of her traditional (and beautiful!!) outfits and taught me about their tasty meal we had that night. These are a few of the times where I see how wonderful of an experience it is becoming friends with someone from a different nationality. 

I am grateful for the technology that can bring us together regardless of the miles between us. Thank you for repeating that word just one more time because I love the way you say it or your accent is fantastic. Thank you for staying up when time zones may find us in the midst of completely different places during our day so we could check in. Thank you for allowing me to ask questions about anything and everything about your culture....and being so patient about it! I appreciate you teaching me little words or phrases in your language so I can practice. You know, for future visits ;)

Being friends with people all around the world allows me to share nuances about my country or culture that intrigue them. For us, these things are second nature and we don’t even think about them! Thank you for causing me to step back and question why this is in place or why we do this here. You’ve helped me to see the ways in which I love my country and also things I would like changed. Thank you for helping me think about these things because I may never actually take a moment to think about them.

Thank you for being my friend. We may have only met once or a handful of times during our travels but know you are special to me. You share your gift of knowledge with me and I wish to do the same for you. Let’s stay in touch because you never know when life calls for a visit…with open hearts and open doors J