So today was Thanksgiving! And what a day it was! I awoke at 7:30am and actually felt good as opposed to exhausted and groggy like I have been the past week. I had my tea and some breakfast and headed off to Ukrainian language class at 8:30. Upon arriving I found out class wasn’t supposed to start till 9… So I decided to walk back home and grab my trusty T2i and take some great Thanksgiving Day pictures! So I did and when I arrived back at our LCF’s apartment a few minutes before 9 the cooking was well under way! Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Bread had already been made the night before and the stuffing was already in process! Class didn’t actually end up starting till 10 because we were all having so much fun cooking, listening to music and having fun. But alas, the time for learning began and we went to studying. There are some days when I am tired, my brain is fried, I’m either hungry, exhausted or both and language class seems pointless because my brain feels like a brick wall that’s getting a Ukrainian melon thrown at it. But today was different. Today I was rested and engaged, everyone’s spirits were up and we had fun. I was conversing and stringing out full sentences and conjugating like a madman! It was a wonderful thing! Before we knew it, class was over and the fun could begin! I still had to have tutoring but the LCF and I were working on my Self Directed project (Which I’m really excited about but more on that later) so it went pretty smoothly. After I finished tutoring I presented my Thanksgiving day present to the group- a full 2 hour video of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! … Ok, so it was last years but that didn’t matter. Several girls in the group kept mentioning how much they missed watching the Parade on Thanksgiving and were really bummed that they wouldn’t have that particular tradition this year. So I surprised them and it was a success! We watched the parade while we cooked dinner. We didn’t have enough stove space and cooking the meat (turkey and chicken) was my job so I walked home and cooked at my host mom’s house. It was my first time really cooking here in Ukraine and I forgot how much I missed it! I fixed Lemon pepper chicken breasts and then I sauteed some turkey cutlets with onions and garlic (they were 2 separate dishes, don’t worry…). I finished up cooking just as the girls were finishing up in the LCF’s apartment. I hurried back as they were setting the table and it all came together beautifully! Chicken, Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Carrots, Biscuits, Creamed Corn, Pumpkin bread, Salad, Pumpkin pie and Egg Nog! All enjoyed with Christmas music playing in the background! It was fantastic! (and it’s Thanksgiving so Christmas music IS allowed!). We prayed together, we ate together, we shared what we were Thankful for together and after hours of eating, talking, and having fun, we cleaned up together. For almost half a day we created a little American bubble. But all suspensions of reality sooner or later must come to an end. They serve their purpose and they drift away. Now it’s back to doing homework for tomorrow, working on our SDL presentation tomorrow as well as preparing for our Site Placement interviews tomorrow! It’s going to be a long and stressful day just like yesterday and the two days before them! But in the middle of it all, we took time to stop; to breathe, to smile, to laugh and most of all, to be thankful!