Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holla At My Ladies!

A little late, I know, but I just wanted to put it out there that I had three wonderful Thanksgivings. Admittedly nothing can be better than a Thanksgiving with family and it was painful, as it is every celebration or holiday, to be so far away from my exquisite and loving family members. At the last of my Thanksgiving fetes, however, I noticed a really nice trend. The celebration took place in the capitol with all the Peace Corps Volunteers and PC Staff. Honestly it started out feeling more like a soup kitchen then Thanksgiving at all, which imparted a rather hollow feeling on such a traditionally family-oriented holiday. But as the evening wore on, I was warmed by the presence of so many friends. It grew to feel like the wonderful people around me were holding me up as we celebrated our thankfulness for the beauty and bounty of life together, just like a family. Mulling in turkey, stuffing and red wine I reflected on my travels and early adulthood, arriving at the realization that there have always been really wonderful women in my life. Somehow no matter where I travel, from Atlanta to Hovd and from Baltimore to Norwich, I've manage to stumble across the most amazing women, both young and old. It is a struggle as I travel to leave these friends that I bond so closely with but the knowledge that they will welcome me with open arms when I next see them rests in my heart. It hasn't always been easy for me to have female friends. A nasty episode in high school left me scarred and mistrusting of the gender as a whole. I took to hanging out with mostly boys in my latter years as a teenager. But upon going to college, I found some really amazing female peers to share time and experiences with. I even made new girl friends my senior year of college and was a little taken aback by the amount of unconditional love and support these ladies showed me. I believe it made me a much better person. And yet here in Peace Corps I have found amazing female site mates, fellow volunteers and many host country nationals who inspire me every day. Girl friends are important especially here in Mongolia, a culture that assumes any cross-gender friendships mean an illicit late night "tea friend". I know of few, if any, platonic cross-gender friendships here. But the women do stick staunchly together. On the other side of the world, my Grandmother has found a cool new lady friend to share meals with since moving into a home. This gives me faith that there are phenomenal women everywhere of all ages. I will always enjoy my guy friends, there really isn't anything like rolling with your dudes. But still, it's the women in my life who are the glue. So with this I wanted to say how thankful I am for my female friends. I am truly blessed to find wonderful women wherever I go.

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