My parents are really supportive and encouraging of me. They send cards, packages, and emails regularly.
My host family is kind and accepting of me. They don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I do American things like walk around in bare feet or munch carrot sticks. Leyla regularly tells me I’m pretty and greets me with a hug.
Electronics. I was SO not a techie in the States, but here I’m really glad I have my laptop, mp3 player and Nintendo DS.
Regular club kids. I have several that come every day and ask questions and walk home with me (or as far as their home; I live farthest away from the school).
Diet Coke, Pringles, and M&Ms. The only American things in this country. A little slice of home.
I sleep on a bed, not a dushak (mat). On the occasions when I visit someone or stay at the PCO and have to sleep on a dushak I’m reminded of how great it is that I have a bed at my house in Bbat.
I live in a community where it’s acceptable for me to wear pants, even jeans. Especially now that it’s cold, wearing jeans to work is such a luxury compared to trying to brave that walk with a brisk wind blowing up my skirt.
I’ve only had two cases of diarrhea since training. That’s really good, especially compared to my sitemate who seems to get the trots every three or four weeks. Sorry if this was more information than you wanted to know; I’m just keeping it real.
The animal making the noise in my bedroom a few months ago that I feared was a rodent of some kind turned out to be an enormous beetle. Whew, beetles won’t bite me or give me rabies and they’re much easier to catch and dispose of. Don’t worry, I didn’t kill him. I put him outside.
I got to travel to India and Cambodia this summer.
Sometimes it rains here. I thought I’d never see or hear rain for two years living in this desert. But every once in a while it rains at night and I can hear it as I drift to sleep.
Every once in a while we PCVs get invited to some shindig in the capital put on by embassy people who make us good food. This year for Thanksgiving we got to eat turkey and other good food with fellow Americans.
So, this holiday season remember the words of another well-known theologian, Junior Asparagus from Veggietales: "a thankful heart is a happy heart."