November 26th, 2003



This year, I have a lot to be thankful about. That doesn't make it particularly different from any other year, really, which is the first thing on the list.

I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to run away to Guatemala for four months. It's been scary, challenging, rewarding, fun, boring, interesting, fascinating, educational, and so much more. I don't know what my life will look like when this trip is over, but I DO know it'll look a lot different from how it did before I left, and that's a great thing. I appreciate all the support you all gave me -- friends, family, hecklers, etc -- in my process of deciding what to do, where to go, and how to go about it, as well as in my time away.

Here in Guatemala, I've had the chance to recognize and appreciate so many of the little things in my life that I value immensely. From the basics like clean water in the tap, access to clean and healthy food, a solid home, and good education to the luxuries like health insurance, a shitload of options every day of my life, hot showers and high thread count cotton sheets... I love Guatemala, and I'll be back here, but what it doesn't have helps me to appreciate what I do have in the US. And, I would be remiss not to mention, as well, that there is so much here reflects what's best in my life in the US: smart, interesting, challenging people with a richness of experience and knowledge, friends and friendship, new experiences, learning, growing, community.

I feel like the density of amazing, deep, thoughtful people here is higher than anywhere else I've been. There's the occassional dud in the mix, but by and large, I'm blown away. I hope I can rise to the challenge.

I'm thankful for each of my friends, loves and family members, both individually and collectively. Here's to you all.


I'm making mashed potatoes for the Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow, so I thought I would buy some cream. I went to the market yesterday and bought a bag of cream (crema). When I got it home, I thought I would make some butter with part of it, so I opened it up to pour it in a container to shake it up, and, lo and behold, it's not cream cream, but the crema that is popular here to put on beans and/or eggs. It's kinda like sour cream, but a bit sweeter and not quite as thick.

Bummer, since I don't really use that stuff for anything, but okay, so now I have a big bag of crema in the fridge. So, today, back to the market, this time looking more carefully at the list of ingredients. I got a bag of cream, this time making sure that it was just cream (crema de leche de vaca was the only ingredient listed). And I just got it home, cut open the bag, and, what should I find but that it is NOT plain old cream. It's thick and sour. What a disappointment.

Now, upon consideration, I believe that I can make mashed potatoes with a sour cream equivalent, and they'll probably be quite tasty, but... I want some plain old cream, damnit! *hmph*