Tuesday, November 24, 2009


“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!” ~Amanda Bradley

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

It's that time of year again.. I'm sure back in the States Christmas music is in the air on every single radio station. Counting down the number of shopping days to the fateful morning when all good little children will received wonderful presents and the naughty children will receive a lump of coal.

At any rate, in November is when the American Thanksgiving holiday falls. Family and friends gather together on the fourth Thursday of the month to rejoice, celebrate, and give thanks for whatever they have.
Since I will not be with my family physically this Thanksgiving, I thought I would write a thanksgiving note.

Now today, as I write this note, I want to briefly reflect on my life: past and present.
Of course, as time is relative, let my focus be in general terms of the many 'years' that have passed.

Through my journeys in this life, I have grown to be who I am today because of the experiences and people I've met and had contacts with throughout my life. I have no regrets of my past as everything that has happened happened for a reason, even if the reason remains unknown to me. As such, I would like to present a brief synopsis of major events in my life.

Birth and childhood:
It is quite evident that I am who I am today, in the form I am today, as my physical body was born on this earth. Throughout my childhood, I had many different role models and friends. Guides and teachers. Each and every person (and animal) I came in contact with left an Impact on my life and for that I am grateful.

Preadolescence/early schooling:
Changes happen in the world. As people grow older they begin to learn new and exciting things... Eventually the children of today begin learning in a formal setting which we refer to as School. School brings new opportunities to learn about things we never knew about before; New friends, new subjects, new knowledge. New ways to have fun and learn at the same time.

Adolescence/ more schooling:
Then as we progress through life more changes come. Old friendships are tested, new friendships are made. Some bonds become stronger as time passes.

Young adulthood (and present):
As the young grow older and have adventures that may take them far from their friends and family, friendships are tested once more. Old friends and new friends alike provide guidance and advice as we continue on our journeys. But even if the journeys take us far from each other physically, the impact of our friends stays with us throughout.
Something as simple as remembering a story (Turn left, turn left! NO, your other left!) can bring a smile to your face even in the worst circumstances.

No man is an island, as the saying goes, and since we are not islands we are social beings. We need each other to support us.

And so I would like to say Thank You to every person who has been a part of my life, past and present. For without each of you I would not be the person I am today.

In particular I want to specifically thank my family for their support and guidance throughout the challenges I've faced and continue to face living in Kenya, Africa - physically far from all of my family members.
Additionally, I want to extend a thanks to my extended family (close friends): you know who you are. Again, thank you for your guidance and support throughout all the challenges I've faced. Thanks also for the great effort to keep in touch with me while I am half-the world away (literally).

Lastly, I want to extend a giant thank you to all of my teachers throughout my life. Not just the teachers in formal settings like schools though they were certainly very important in my development.
Equally important were all the other teachers in life: my friends, family, peers, even people whom I did not formally meet but had some kind of contact with.

A giant thanks to my Scouting family also. We are one light, brothers and sisters world wide. Even in Kenya, I've seen the true nature of the brotherhood of Scouting. So to all my Scouting Brothers and Sisters, thank you.
Similarly, a giant thank you to my fellow Volunteers - whether they be in the US Peace Corps or other service organisations a big thank you goes out to you for your support.

I truly am grateful to everyone who has touched my life and since I choose not to name ever single person let me just end with Thank you to one and all.

May you all be blessed and "may the force be with you".

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