TTS22 Group photo

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble up these Thanksgiving thoughts

Dear Parents and Blog Followers!

Happy Thanksgiving from TTS22!  We are six short days away from returning home to family, holidays, friends, hugs, kisses and America.  The last couple days have been a reflection of what we have been doing the past three months, but more importantly on finals!  Yes, the girls are two math finals away from being finished with school at TTS.

It is a tradition for many of the girls to do a Thanksgiving Day run.  In many towns across the U.S, including Bozeman, it is called the Huffing for Stuffing and is a 5k.  As you may recall one of the group goals before the semester came to a close was for everyone to run and complete a  5k. Well, we did it!  Starting early in the morning to beat the Botswana heat we took off down the dirt road. We ran until Papa picked us up 5k down the road.  With big blue in sight the girls kicked into gear and all finished strong.

A view out of our Thanksgiving Day window: Elephants stand about fifteen feet away at a watering hole, no fence to divide us, while we eat dinner and watch them wander in and out of sight.  Sneaking up on us with their silent steps and splashing themselves to cool off in the humid Botswana air. We are at a long table sharing memories of  what we do and eat on Thanksgiving with our families back home.  Instead of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and stuffing we indulge in kudu, impala, squash malva pudding and custard on out plates. New and old collide and girls leave with full bellies and smiles to their tents under the blanket of African stars.

Hakunamhathata! (Shona for no worries) and as the days speed by the girls are filled with joy and sentiment about going home and leaving each other, the family we have created over the months.  I remind them daily of a quote a smart man once said, “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”  -Dr. Seuss

We leave you with memorable moments from the students and teachers they are grateful for having on the trip!

Happy Thanksgiving,

“Playing soccer in the road with the San kids when the truck was stuck.”

“Seeing a giraffe spread its legs to drink at the watering hole.”

“Finally seeing meerkats and having the chance to experience meerkats.”

“Papa finally letting me ride with him in the truck.”

“Finishing up classes under the shade of the 1,000 year old baobab.”

“We were canoeing down the Orange River on the last day of our trip and our guide said we were going through a diamond sensitive area. He made us swim outside our boats so the diamond guards would not see us, but really it was all a joke. There were no gunmen.”

“Riding in the truck with Rohan.”

“The San village helping us push the truck out of the sand in the Namibian desert.”

Sarah White:
“Is thankful for all the new teen fiction trilogies the students introduced to her.”

“Grateful for the the opportunity to spend so many hours with Heather working on her algebra two homework.”

“Sleeping under the stars on the Orange River and my Mom making her first trip to Africa to get a glimpse of what I have been up to over the past 15 years.”

“Hiking up table mountain.”

“Trying lee chi fruit for the first time.”

“Sharing Thanksgiving with 19 of my new best friends.”

“All water is ruined for me now that I have tasted the crisp spring water of the Tsitisikama.”

“ The opportunity to push my limits on the trip both physically and mentally. One notable moment holding a large snake twice my body weight.”

“Repelling next to the waterfall in Waterval Boven. I felt accomplished once I reached the ground.”

“Sunrise walk up Dune 45 and shooting portraits in perfect light.”

Stomping our feet with the San kids at the primay school singing along to “sing, sing, sing to the lord”.

“A night I will never forget is when we had a dance party in the Gryffindor tower during study hall.  I don't know how we got from math to dancing in the kitchen with a strobe light, but I am so glad it happened.”

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