Thanksgiving Thoughts from Shangri-La

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Tibetan Thanksgiving

This family took us in, hungry, tired, near hypothermia at nearly 15,000 feet elevation in Tibetan Sichuan, China. We are still thankful.

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday for us. Thanksgiving is a way of life. It is a value we carry with us each day. For that we can thank Claire’s mother Delee. Her life was cut short; we were with her, and it changed the direction of our lives, changed us to the core, forever.

This Thanksgiving finds us well into another adventure, which is not so unusual, but this Thanksgiving is special. We are in Saigon, the city where Delee gave birth to Claire 45 years ago. In the early stages of the conflict that would become known here as The American War; in fearful circumstances, she gave birth to the woman I love, the woman who had made my life wonderful for more than 20 years. I am thankful.

In Asia one is constantly reminded of just how easy we Americans (Australians, Europeans…) have it, what good fortune is ours. Of the five thousand miles we have ridden our tandem in Asia, much of it has been where the lives of the people are a struggle. Most do not separate work and life, they work except when sleeping, and often sleep where they work.

So, as you gather around the turkey and dressing this day, remember the people who have less, and be thankful for where you were born. Send them good wishes, prayers, and a part of yourself, for just a moment this special day. Enjoy, as they would, be thankful this day; and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, be thankful.

Claire Rogers
Claire Rogers writes on cross-cultural adventure drawn from her travels across the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul, around Australia and of course, through Iceland--all by bike.

She's currently traveling by tandem with her husband Bob, through southwest China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Check out NewBohemians.net for more information on their travels.
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