Monday, November 28, 2011


As December rapidly approaches and big transitions are imminent, I wanted to share some thoughts that I have been reflecting on in light of Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday!

I am thankful for the handful of students that approached me this past week with concerned looks on their faces, asking me whether or not I will still be around next year. After I reassured them that I will still be here another year, I could almost see their sense of relief as huge smiles stretched across their faces, and they walked away without saying another word.

I am thankful for having a wonderful community to come home to everyday after work. These are the people that know me best here in Nicaragua and continue to love me and share themselves with me. I will not be able to express in words how much they have taught and continue to teach me about what it means to be fully present and to accompany others.

I am thankful for love that surpasses physical distance, for all of my family and friends who have showered prayers and encouraging words on me and who truly listen to my stories even if they don't fully grasp what I'm saying. I am thankful for unexpected emails or letters. I am also thankful for good conversations that challenge me to go deeper.

I am thankful for things becoming familiar and the fact that I now recognize people along the way to school and the way home, too.

I am thankful for feeling safe in our house and that I can share myself openly and honestly.

I am thankful for the elderly woman that lives around the corner and reminds me of my Gram Hillman. When I ask her how she is doing, she usually tells me about her latest illness and then tells me a little more about what is going on in her life. The best part of our short interactions is our despedida, she calls me her amor and asks God to bless me. I like to think that it is my Gram's spirit that is shining through this woman.

I am thankful for our yard, for our dog, for walking to the bus, for people out on the streets talking and kids playing soccer, for dancing, for delicious beans, for time to practice the guitar, for laughing, and for so many of the little things that fill my day.

I am thankful for feeling at home in this beautiful country, Nicaragua.


  1. Good Morning Adrienne! Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for ALL that I have and for all those who God has placed in my life. 24 more days!!! (but who's counting? haha)
    I love you lots!

  2. Wow, thank YOU Adrienne for sharing. I love the statement of "being fully present and to accompany other." This is something we all should always remember in our life here on earth.
    God's Blessings to you,
    The Lapp family

  3. Adrienne, I am so humbled by your reflections of gratitude; to appreciate each person that you are present to along with the joy you find in the simplest aspects of your daily life. We can all learn from you and your journey in Nicaragua especially as we approach a spiritual season that is unfortunately saturated in commercialism. I need to be more like you: to embrace the moments of each day, especially the opportunities to chat with those who may be there to remind us of those we love who have passed on.
    Sending my prayers and love,
    Auntie H