This year was the first time I wasn’t with my family for Thanksgiving. I’m so happy for video chat and being able to say hi to everyone and see their smiling faces but it was still very hard.

Not being home for Thanksgiving and my birthday makes me feel sooo (times ten) homesick, most definitely the most homesick I’ve ever felt in my life. This is one thing that I didn’t really think about before leaving. I knew I’d miss everyone but I didn’t know what it felt like to truly miss someone, let alone miss everyone I love. 

I didn’t think about how missing holidays would make me feel. In a weird way I was thinking that holidays wouldn’t happen for two years; that everything would be put on pause until I’m home. I learned the hard way that this is not true, nor would I want it to be true. 

But even being homesick, I’m exactly where I want to be. 

I’m reminding myself why I’m here and how excited I was when I got accepted. I keep thinking how lucky I am to be here and how I’m living in a real life avatar land with beautiful mountains and beaches. The views I see everyday are views that people paint pictures of, I wish I was a better artist to show everyone because my iPhone can not capture the beauty. 

And the people are so amazing and friendly, when I’m looking for the Toge bus I know I’ll hear a familiar voice say “Oli!” and invite me to sit with them until the bus comes. We don’t understand each other very well, but there’s no language barrier to a friendly smile; that shines through in all languages and cultures.

And everyone is on island time, which makes me fit in nicely; it’s totally acceptable for me to lay in my hammock all day and read if I want to. 

I have so much to be grateful for, I have a grateful journal where I write down a few things that I’m thankful for everyday. This ensures that I see at least one good thing in every single day, even the worst of days have something to smile about. 
Staying positive has always been my strongest quality, possibly to the point of annoyance. But I’m going to let that shine no matter what! I wallowed in feeling homesick for a day or so and now I’m ready to pick myself back up and move forward.

So to bring this post back to Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for. I won’t list it all but above all I’m thankful for my family for their continuous love and support, this opportunity to be in the Peace Corps, the people in my village for welcoming me into their lives, my 3 year old neighbor for always making me smile, a strong internet connection and my friends in America and in Fiji. 

With so much love,



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