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Giving Thanks


The holiday season is a time of family and for many exchange students, it can be a time when homesickness can arise.  For YES Abroad student Katie Wells in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Thanksgiving holiday is all about being present to the best things in life.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and I think this day I am more thankful than I have ever been before. So many people have brought me where I am today and so many things have happened that have made me a better person. I won't be at home with my family in the USA, indulging in a giant turkey, mashed potatoes, and some of the best food ever. Instead, I'm making my host family a simple pumpkin pie for a taste of home and tradition.

But today is the day of thanks and I've realized there are so many things I am thankful for.
In no particular order, I am thankful for:

  1. My natural family, who have encouraged me and helped me and prayed for me the entire journey to get here in Bosnia.
  2. My host family, who have accepted me as their own daughter or sister and have put up with my broken Bosnian and have made me laugh at so many different things.
  3. My coordinators, who have set everything up for me to be here; whether they are in the States or Bosnia, they are the reason this has been such a smooth transition.
  4. The fact that I haven't gained any weight when all I've been eating is bread, Nutella, and meat.
  5. This gorgeous country that I have the privilege of living in.
  6. My friends here who have become my personal translators.
  7. My friends not here (I can't say just "back home" because I kind of have friends all over the world... and you know, I'm thankful for that too!) because they have supported me and loved me and I couldn't love them more.
  8. YES Abroad and Rotary Youth Exchange for providing me with two amazing exchanges. Neither one I would change for the world. Psh, I'm seeing the world, why on earth would I trade my exchange for it?
  9. Technology and it's ability to let me keep in contact with friends and family all over the world. I mean, I just made pumpkin pie while talking to my mom in America. I love technology!
  10. Not having to watch a million games of American football.
  11. Anyone and everyone who has been part of my life. Without you, I would not be where I am today.

Thank you everyone for being a part of this journey and I'm sure my list could go on. I am now going to go indulge in the pumpkin pie I just made with my host mom, which pretty much consisted of her showing me how it's done. I can't cook--something you should know about me. So thank you Nizama for teaching me the amazing ways of using the kitchen!