Father Abraham…

…had many sons. And many sons had Father Abraham.

Here we are on Thanksgiving, chanting this song in a valiant effort to calm down my distressed niece after 3 hours of driving to Fort Worth, sitting in traffic, trying to find a parking spot to attend the Festival of Lights, failing repeatedly to find a parking spot, giving up, and making the trek back home. And as my mom desperately and hopefully serenades Skylar, my mind immediately flashes back to exactly one year ago– to my Thanksgiving in the Himalayas. We had stopped in a Tibetan village to teach 5 children at a local school about proper hygiene. Our wonderful leader, Chandra, suddenly asked us to teach the kiddos a song, and my mind dug deep into my Children’s Church years to give me one song: Father Abraham. As our little audience stared us with a look mixed with intrigue and shock, we continued through all 5 motions of Father Abraham. Eventually, I had the sense to INCLUDE the kids in the, well, KIDS song, and they joined in with giggles. Following the unconventional school lesson, we played soccer and passed out stickers– all while in the center of the most beautiful valley. Out of the whole trip, it was truly one of my favorite moments.
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What a vast contrast between my past 2 Thanksgivings! I decided to go back into my journal and reminisce on my time in the Himalayas, which is where I found my Thanksgiving Day journal entry:

*Scratch scratch*
*Rustle*

I begin to rouse out of my deep sleep and transition into reality. Cracking my eyes open, I see nothing. Wide open now—still nothing. It’s pitch dark, and I am unable to move. Panic strikes me. I reason with myself: I’m physically restricted due to my mummy sleeping bag, and I can’t see anything because I am in fact, in the Himalayas, and it’s probably 5am. But something still isn’t quite settling about those scratching sounds I hear all around me— and the fact that I can’t see or move isn’t helping. I check my watch, and it is indeed 5am. Great. Thank you, jet lag. Nepal is exactly 12 hours ahead of Texas, so I give myself some credit for being able to shift time zones as much as I have in 2 days.

But, back to those scratching noises… It sounds like something is running across the thatched roof above me. I almost throw out a quick, “Is anyone else awake?”, but somehow my frivolous insecurities hold me back. For the next hour, I simply lay there, going back and forth between praying for the children I will encounter that day, and praying that a rat doesn’t crawl over my face. Finally, it’s 6am, and I can’t hold back anymore. A soft, “Is anyone else awake?” was greeted with 3 desperate voices shouting “YES!!” Someone swiftly turns on the little, battery-powered light bulb hanging from our thatched roof, and all of us immediately begin to discuss the mental torture endured in the last hour (in which, of course, we were all wide awake). After a panicked conclusion that yes, indeed, rats were probably all around us, we decided to make our way outside to hit up the squatty-potty and watch the sunrise. We crack the door open and immediately see 4 people sleeping on the floor outside our room. Most likely, the family gave up their beds for us.

As the sun illuminates our surroundings, the fullness of our adventure began saturating my soul. In front of me is a magnificent snow-capped peak with a waterfall streaming into a river that cut through the village sitting at the base of the mountain. But the real sight is to my right, where the valley ripples with mountain terrain and graduated farming terraces. THAT was the real sight because of the stories it secretly held for my future.

 

One Thanksgiving in Nepal, one in Keller, and the next? Barcelona.

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