It is 28.5 degrees Celsius here, but the continuous rain and cloudy-ness today help it feel more like Thanksgiving. I won’t be having a turkey, or a feast of any kind today (beans and rice as usual) but in the spirit of the holiday I spent some time reflecting on what I am thankful for. One thing stands out right now and that is the Calixte family. They own the house I live in and are my neighbors. We share the compound (well, yard, laundry lines, washing area) so maybe we are more than neighbors in the usual sense. Think of me as renting a room in their house.
They are amazing and beautiful people. When I need reminding why I am here, I just need to think of them. They are friendly, understanding, extremely helpful and kind. I tutor their kids, they share their watermelon. They provide a real sense of security because I know that if anything ever happened to me, they would do everything they could to help. They really have welcomed me as one of their family.
In fact, I have just been talking to Mr. Calixte about traveling to Antalaha for Christmas and he told me two important things: no matter what anyone operating a boat tells me, they are not safe this time of year, and that when I travel, they worry about me and he wants me to SMS when I get to Tana and again from Antalaha.
I have not written about them before because I felt I would be unable to do them justice, their kindness and generosity are almost beyond description, but suffice to say that on this Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks to living with them.
November 28, 2008