Happy Thanksgiving from Haiti!
We went to a Thanksgiving feast over at the embassy. They had all of the traditional Thanksgiving foods and were even streaming a football game.
We have a lot to be thankful for, and it is more obvious that we are now overseas and away from family. We have endured a lot of changes this year in our family and careers, and while I have had a particularly difficult time with this transition to being a stay at home dad, diplowife does well to remind me that we are living out our dreams that we spent the past decade working to achieve. Someday the hiring freeze will be lifted and I will be able to find work, but I am trying to use my time to better bond with our boys and prepare for the FSOT and other opportunities that may present themselves down the road.
I think that our work and travels have helped us to be more appreciative of how great America is and the opportunities we are afforded just by the lucky, random chance that we were born in America. Every day I drive by the American embassy on my way to drop off or pick up S from school and I see scores of people queuing up in front of the consular section in hopes that they can get a visa to come to the U.S. And though Haiti’s close proximity to the U.S. is a big factor in the amount of visa applications processed by the consular section every day, I can all but guarantee that other embassies in PAP are not this busy, and for good reason. Despite the current politics in America, it is still the “shining city upon a hill” that Reagan referred to in 1980 on the eve of the election, because America is not just a place but an idea; an idea that, if someone works hard enough, that they can succeed. This is not true everywhere else in the world. Americans are spoilt for choice and opportunity of which citizens of other countries can only dream. I read recently that American embassies processed over 14 million visa applications last year, and the number goes up every year. America did not need to be great again. It was already great.
So we are thankful for all of our opportunities that our nation has afforded us. We and other FSO families are living out our dreams–an idea that is elusive to most other people in the world. We have a beautiful family, great health, and the means to live comfortably. We are able to gain a unique perspective on other countries and live this rewarding lifestyle traveling the world and giving ourselves and our children these amazing experiences. Happy Thanksgiving!