Happy Thanksgiving from Ghana!
It sure would be nice to be home today to spend one of my favourite holidays with friends and family, but oh well! Despite the fact that I'm on the other side of the planet, I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I'd like to share my list with you.
First, I'm thankful for all my friends and family who have supported me up until this point. Being separated from everyone I care about has provided a lot of perspective on the value of my relationships, and more than ever I realize how amazing the people in my life are. I was born into the best set of parents a guy could ask for. Both my mom and my dad have incredibly large hearts and sharp minds, and they're both always working hard to make the lives of the people around them better. I've never once doubted their support for my life goals, and I can't thank them enough for everything they've done for me. They've been amazing role models. And even though they split up, there was a silver lining to it. I now have an amazing step mom who I have the best discussions with (even though they get a bit heated sometimes), and my step-dad to be is a friendly, hardworking guy who has taken my family under his wing. Awesome attracts awesome am I right!?
Speaking of family, I can't forget my siblings. Over the last 2 years I feel like we've become closer than ever. I love having my older sister in my life, and she's done a badass job raising my nephews. The two of them are sweethearts, and I know they're going to be the coolest cucumbers when they grow up. I've also rediscovered a close relationship with my brother that went missing for awhile, and I don't think I could ever describe how much that bond means to me. We don't say a lot, but there's a shared respect and admiration there that doesn't need words. And my little sister! Holy crap she's on a big adventure right now. I'm so proud of the steps she's taken to grow as a person, and I can't wait to see her in March after she returns from Kenya. I know we'll have a lot to talk about! OH and sorry extended family! I miss you all too! The emails my grandparents have sent me, and the messages left by some of my aunts and uncles have all been very special to me. I'm excited to build on these relationships as I gain some independence and set out into the world!
Then there are my friends. You guys are a rocking bunch! Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me while I've been here. Your messages mean so much to me! I was worried that I'd be forgotten while I was away, and I felt like I was missing out on a lot of fun times. Turns out I was, but you helped me remember that you keep me in your hearts, and you're all in mine too! Especially you Matt, you have been a true-blue friend, and you've treated me better than I deserve. I understand how hard it must have been for you living in Edmonton on your own, and I wasn't there for you like I should have been. Know though that even though I can be flaky sometimes, you'll always be my best bud.
And finally I'm so thankful to be having this experience in Ghana. I've grown in ways that I hadn't imagined, and I've met some incredible people. Chelsea, Sean and Kelly....you are the best 3 people I could have come on this internship with. You've all helped me grow in different ways, and I love you all. And to everyone else who I've shared this experience with, I think about the memories we've made all the time. Know that any shared laugh or smile we've had together is always on my mind. And Ghana, thank you for being here! You're beautiful! Honestly, a true paradise on Earth, and the perfect backdrop for this life changing experience. And though I love you, I've come to love my home country even more. Being in Ghana has taught me how lucky I am to live in Canada, probably the best country in the world. (At the very least it's in the top 5) And everyone else knows it too! I've only heard positive things said about Canada since I've been here, so props to you all for making our country so great! I can't wait to return home and make it even better!