Every morning I’ve woken up in Senegal to the sounds of joy: soccer balls bouncing off feet, chat in at least three languages, women grinding grains, and laughter. Lots of laughter. I’m really grateful for that, this country, and this village.
Since it is Thanksgiving in the U.S., we travelers thought we would share what we are grateful for this year, this moment:
Judy: everyone around me, family
Nathan: mom—without her I’d be nothing, the opportunities she has given me
Caleb: life in general
Kelsey: opening up to new experiences and letting those shape me, grateful for being able to be better everyday
Jack: running water
Yujia: everything that has happened to me and not me, especially the uncomfortable moments. Bad things provoke thought, and that is good.
Egecan: thankful to be here and to see how other Muslims live, eat, be together, grateful for how the people in the village have taken care of us
Malaya: God for strength, friends for everything
Hunter: calling my parents to say happy thanksgiving
Amanda: my parents and the opportunity they’ve given me
Steven: all the love the village has shown us, kids swarming around the football, kids learning how to play football
Britney: family, the opportunity to be here, friends
Caitlin: friends, family, opportunities over the years—the things I take for granted, being here right now
Eva: all the traditional things (family, friends, food), this trip, the opportunity to meet all of the welcoming and kind people (of Senegal), having the chance to get to know people from school a whole new way
Weichen: parents and brothers who have done so much, people who are truly open and true, who listen and give me the opportunity to be open and true to them
Lexy: family, friends, opportunity to travel to Senegal (first time out of the country!), the intangible things like love between friends and experiences that mold (me) for the better
Charlie: blessed to be alive, the simple balance of nothing and everything, existence
Michael: getting out of the U.S.
Kameron: thankful for waking up, my mom, my family, home
Sydney: grateful to be a human and have the opportunity to experience the natural wonders the earth provides, the ability to be confused—confusion leads to pathways of understanding
Darius: spending thanksgiving in a foreign country. Thanksgiving is always a time to eat a lot of food, but I’m here eating a lot of food with my friends having our own eating party—just thankful for the good experiences with all of the people on this trip.