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Back in America, it’s almost Thanksgiving Day! It’s the day where we express thanks to our loved ones and express gratitude for what we currently have.

I was excited to spend Thanksgiving with my friends this year in Japan, but it seemed like I forgot that in Japan, Thanksgiving is not celebrated (due to obvious reasons). Because of this, it’s a lot harder to find decent American Thanksgiving food and arrange a gathering. As a result of this inconvenience, and for the first time in a while, I actually felt homesick. I missed my family and I missed the food that they often made around this time. The thought of not being able to celebrate such a popular holiday dampened my mood considerably.

However, I soon found out that my kind coordinator put together a program gathering. She had made plans to celebrate Thanksgiving with everyone in my exchange program. She booked an all-you-can-eat/drink styled dinner at a restaurant in Roppongi (about an hour away from school). To make things even better, the food was mostly home-cooked American style.

We had turkey, mash potatoes, brownies, and even pumpkin pie. There were unlimited drinks, so students were able to order both soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.

To help ease our homesickness, my coordinator even told us that even though we weren’t with our family this year, we’re with the CSU family. Her words lightened up my mood considerably.

I am forever grateful to my coordinator for putting together such an event. She works hard – it’s hard to rein in 24 students for an AYCE/D meal.

That aside, I feel like it’s only right to talk about the 5 things that I am thankful for this year.

  1. I am thankful for my family and friends back home.
  2. I am thankful that I got the opportunity to study aboard in Japan.
  3. I am thankful for my coordinator – she makes life so much more comfortable here in Japan.
  4. I am thankful for the new people that I’ve met in these last few months.
  5. I am thankful for struggles that I have faced thus far because it helped me grow as a person.

With that, I’m ending this short post because of the fact that it is now 3 A.M. and I have to get up tomorrow at 6 A.M. (the one thing that I am not very thankful for…)

Happy holidays!

Lights in Roppongi, near the restaurant where I celebrated Thanksgiving

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