Monday, November 23, 2009

A Week of Thanksgiving

by Mark

This past weekend we were informed of some wonderful news. We had care packages waiting for us at the Post Office. Three in fact. Each and every care package we receive is a surprise, as we never know how long they will take to get to us here in Arkhangai (though recently they've been arriving as quick as 2 weeks).

Kara ripped right into them during our lunch break - 2 boxes were from Grandma & Grandpa Bradley, and the third was from the Estep's. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking...

But it's the fact that Thanksgiving is this week that has me writing this post. Both Kara and I are thankful for many things, not the least of which is all of our loved ones back home. The care packages are a reminder of the thought and care expressed by family and friends. It sounds extreme to say we wouldn't make it without that support, but I can tell you matter-of-factly that it would be incredibly more difficult.

Our week is beginning with wonderful care packages, but "thanksgiving" doesn't end there. In a couple of days we are taking a trip to the capital of Mongolia...Ulaanbaatar. A bunch of our fellow PCV's are gathering together to celebrate the holiday of giving thanks. Though we won't be having dinner on Thursday, we will be having it on Saturday when more folks can travel into UB. Our trip is two-fold though...after the Thanksgiving dinner we will begin a 6 day Peace Corps training at a "resort" just outside of the capital. I'm sure we'll have more on that later, but for now we can say that it should be a fun time of seeing volunteers we haven't seen for months, and catching up on a myriad of stories from all corners of Mongolia.

Oh and let's not forget that soon after Thanksgiving will be Christmas...

Yes, people have already begun to send us Christmas presents. If that's not something to be thankful for, well then I don't know what else is....other than maybe that beef jerky Mel threw into our recent care packages - oh my word, that stuff is amazing!! Thank you all for being so wonderful to us - even though we're away from family, this will be one of our most "thank-filled" Thanksgiving holidays ever.

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