Happy Thanksgiving to our family and friends in the US…Gratefulness for so much…

Upon arrival in Mombasa, we took this photo from the ferry, as another ferry was taking off.  Notice the crowds. Shortly, we’ll be on this ferry again in Alfred’s vehicle.

This is our second Thanksgiving in a row where we haven’t had a “real” Thanksgiving celebration. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Christmas in Nevada with family only weeks from leaving the US on January 3, 2013. Gratefulness

Last year, we dined in a quaint restaurant in Old Town in Scottsdale at an outdoor table, the first time either of us had Thanksgiving dinner outdoors. Of course, these past three months we’ve lived outdoors 16 hours a day. Now, it’s not such an oddity to us.

Thanksgiving for us today? Nope. It’s not a holiday in Kenya. In our attempt to blend into the culture of the countries in which we live, we find ourselves, for now, leaving US traditions behind. Also, they don’t sell whole turkeys or pumpkins in Kenya.

Do we miss it?  We miss our family, not the food, not shopping, not cooking, not dishes. We miss the family, loud and playful with lots of laughter, the grandkids playing, running joyfully through the house. Sure, we miss that. 

But, when one makes a decision such as ours, one must do so with the peace and the knowledge that the love will travel with us and in time, we’ll all be together again. We have no sorrow, no angst, and no mournful regret. 

We are grateful this Thanksgiving and every day for the health and well being of our family and friends. Plus, we are grateful every day; for our health, for our safety, and for our seemingly endless sense of adventure and desire to continue on.

We are grateful for each other; the way we hold each other up when we falter for a moment; the way that we accept each other’s foibles and annoyances; the way that we remember that a gentle brush across the lips or a squeeze of a hand, goes a long way. 

We are grateful for the simple traditions and routines that we’ve created giving us a much-needed respite from the difficult times; playing cards; a walk to the produce stand; a movie night; a meal planned, prepared, and always enjoyed together. We are grateful.

Tomorrow will be our last full day in Kenya. On Saturday, Alfred will pick us up at 7:30 am to make the 90-minute drive and ferry ride to the airport in Mombasa, the second-largest city in Kenya which is an island in the Indian Ocean. Often there are delays at the ferry requiring that we leave early. 

It will be a long full day of travel arriving in Johannesburg in the evening for an overnight stay in a hotel. The following morning, we’ll have another 45-minute flight with an hour-long drive from the airport in Mpumalanga, South Africa to get to our awaiting house in Marloth Park. 

As always, we’ll be grateful when the traveling is over, our luggage has joined us and we begin the pleasant experience in getting situated in our new home.

Now, we’re going to “suck some air” out of the space bags and get as much of the packing done as possible.  Back tomorrow for a short update and a few of our favorite photos from Kenya!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US! And, a happy day to those in other countries

Comments and responses Happy Thanksgiving to our family and friends in the US…Gratefulness for so much…

  1. Isabel@FS Reply

    Indeed much to be 'thankful' for and even more thankful when you arrive safely in your new 'home'. I applaud your decision to lighten your travel load by giving away so much clothing. Not easy for a woman to do I am sure. Hopefully the money you save on overweight baggage will enable you to buy something nice/decent on board the cruise ship. Yes, it might not be long enough on you but I am sure you could 'rock' a maxi dress (ie a long dress that isn't long enough 🙂 I would find the prospect of joining that crowd on the ferry daunting. Again I say you are so much braver than most that I know. Travel safe and enjoy your thanksgiving together as always, in peace and safety.

  2. Jessica Reply

    Isabel, thanks for your comments! I don't think I'm so brave when I get so squeamish over insects and the prospect of flying but thanks for encouraging me. And you are right, I will find some clothes to wear for the cruises, perhaps when we're in London and Paris! Ha! Hope they have fashion outlets there. That might be rather fun looking for deals on maxi dresses. Didn't they originate in London anyway?

    Today, we're fine tuning our packing. By the time we go out to dinner tonight, we'll be ready to go early tomorrow morning. I'll be relieved once we arrive in South Africa at our new home.

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving also.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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