Expat Thanksgiving Days

October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my Canadian friends celebrating with me… and to all my friends around the world… regardless of whether you celebrate this day or not.

We have so much to be thankful for in this life and I think it is amazing to have a day set aside specifically to give thanks!

Back home…. I’d be going to church in the morning with my family and then enjoying a massive Thanksgiving dinner with my dad’s side of the family… usually 20-40 people!! Ham… Turkey…. mashed potatoes… sweet potatoes… veggies… salads… pumpkin pie… WINE!!! Ohhh I’m absolutely salivating now…

Unfortunately… no family dinner today for me. At least not with my “blood family”.

Instead… I get to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with some of my amazing new friends out here in Riyadh… and that’s something to be thankful for for sure!

I get 2 Thanksgiving dinners actually. And I got to play street hockey on Canadian Thanksgiving Day yet too!! (Or Thanksgiving weekend I should clarify!) How typically Canadian is that?!!! It was amazing!!

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On October 13, actual Thanksgiving Day, I went out for dinner with my friend Sarah (who is also Canadian) to a little French restuarant and had a completely non-typical Thanksgiving dinner… pasta and cake and beautiful non-alcoholic cocktails… It was a cute place with little book nooks and chandeliers and pretty colored walls…

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And to top it all off… we discovered Tim Hortons #2 in Riyadh!! On Tahlia Street (which is pretty crazy close to the hospital)… we definitely enjoyed a Double Double after dinner!!! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Day to us!!!

imageBut the best Thanksgiving dinner was at Riyadh village… proper dinner. The weekend before Thanksgiving Day. With Turkey and mashed potatoes and veggies and cranberrry jelly… and pumpkin pie!!!

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All with a bunch of really good friends… sipping beverages around the pool… chatting and relaxing and getting to know each other a little bit more…imageimage

And then singing out hearts out on the car ride home… it was beautiful!!!

While I miss my family back home terribly on a special day like today… I am so extremely grateful to have this opportunity to be out in Saudi Arabia, immersed in a culture so completely unfamiliar to mine and loving it! Learning so many new things in my job… Learning a new language… Meeting new people daily from all walks of life and countries all around the world… Having heaps of fun… Playing sports I’ve never played before in my life and having a great time… Like hockey… Running with some really cool people (Had my first race this weekend actually!!!) … and having the opportunity to travel the world… it really is incredible!!! And most of all… I am so thankful to have the support of my family back home. For them to love me and to feel that love even across the distance and to know that they’re always there for me no matter what. I am truly blessed!!!

As we would say here in Saudi Arabia… Alhumdulillah (Thanks be to God).

As Christians we say, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:1 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 5:20

A very happy belated Thanksgiving Day to anyone reading this… I hope that every day is a day you’re thankful for… and I hope that each day is filled with beauty and light, hope and love!

Much love…

Annemarie

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