Weeks 15 & 16: Feeling thankful

Teaching languages for me doesn't mean just teaching grammar and the skills, it means much more than that. It includes teaching about people, cultures, way of life, values, history, traditions ...  One of the lessons in my English class is always dedicated to Thanksgiving even though all I know about it is from books, movies and from what my American friends have told me or  from what they have shared on social networking sites. This year, however, I had this exciting opportunity to see what it is really like. And it totally lived up to my expectations. The food was absolutely delicious - turkey, fresh cranberry sauce (my absolute favorite), cornbread, pumpkin pie and many other delicacies.

But Thanksgiving is not really about food, it's about thanking and giving and it brings across  the amazing American hospitality also. The only people who stayed on campus over the past week were international students, but no matter how many of them were here,  they all had a chance to experience the real Thanksgiving feel in an American home or at a church or at any other gathering for international students.
A Thanksgiving invitation
The Humphrey Fellows spent  Thanksgiving with  host families. I was amazed to see how the host families who travelled to other parts of the country  and our three coordinators made sure that the fellows don't stay alone in their campus dormitories, but experience the real Thanksgiving in an American home. I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at Dee and Richard's home and I'm thankful for that.
Thanksgiving with Dee and Brinda 
Richard carving the turkey
Fresh cranberry sauce - yummy!

I'm thankful for being a Humphrey Fellow and for meeting so many amazing people. Most of all,  I'm thankful for having the best host ever - Janis. I thank her for being such a kind, thoughtful, understanding, helpful, generous, friendly - or simply put - perfect host.

Janis, my perfect host
Want it or not, Thanksgiving is also closely connected with shopping - Black Friday, a day of huge savings begins on Thursday afternoon. Newspapers around the world simply bombard their readers with stories about people fighting to buy drastically reduced TVs, computers etc. on that day. Because we wanted to check if this was really true we went shopping immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. So there is another myth to be debunked: none of this is true! Shopping on Black Friday was a fun, enjoyable, relaxing experience of finding some nice deals and spending time with family and friends.
Humphrey Fellows shopping on Black Friday


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