Gratitude: Day 1 and 2

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’ll be posting 30 things I’m thankful for, one for each day of the month. In reality, I’ll probably post 2-3 days at a time, rather than 1 per day. But we’ll see.

Since it’s already the second, here are two things I’m thankful for, in no particular order:

November 1: My family. I couldn’t serve in the Peace Corps without the love and support of my family. I know it was hard for my parents to let their little girl move halfway around the world, live in hardship in a crime-ridden country, but never once did they ask me to stay. My family has never hindered my decisions, even though they were difficult to accept. And when I’m struggling, my family is there to back me up. And while I’ve been in PC, my family has provided me with the strength I need to service.

In South Africa, the family structure is usually broken. Young parents die from car crashes or HIV, and children are left to be raised by their grandparents. Teenage girls have children and leave them with relatives. Adults move from the village to find work, and sometimes leave their children to care for themselves. I was blessed to grow up in a loving, whole household, and am incredibly grateful for the family I have.

November 2: The Peace Corps experience. This crazy life of mine, living as a volunteer in a rural African village, has been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much about my life, myself, the world I live in, and what God intends me to do with my life. I can’t synthesize what the Peace Corps experience has done for me, or what it means to me. But it really is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” There are some days when I question my entire purpose here, and the worth of my efforts. Then the baby sister wanders into my room and smiles at me, a teacher comes up and asks for my advice, or a crowd of Grade Rs follow me around, babbling in Setswana and shouting “Hello!” I’ve been able to see changes in my village in the past year, and am usually blessed by some unique experience every day.

What are you grateful for?
-Jen

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About Jen Daugherty

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Real Food Eater. Daughter of God.

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