Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t a thing here in Israel, but I managed to celebrate with an unlikely group. I joined a Thanksgiving pizza party hosted by a Canadian and a Briton and attended by an Israeli, a Latvian, and myself. I’m not sure why any of them were celebrating a US holiday, but I decided not to question their motives and to simply enjoy the holiday.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I moved to Israel a year ago. It’s been a year filled with amazing experiences. I’ve excavated at six sites and visited many others. I’ve met famous archaeologists and worked with young archaeologists who show promise of being the future great archaeologists of the coming decades. I’ve learned a lot, both from working alongside brilliant people and from the countless hours I spent poring over old excavation reports, books and journal articles. I’ve kept on schedule with my PhD program, and I’m looking forward to the next steps.

It hasn’t been an easy year, and I haven’t succeeded at everything. There have been times of loneliness and days when I came home from a trip to the grocery story exhausted from trying to function within a culture and language that I don’t understand. One of my goals for this year was to learn Hebrew. I’ve learned some, but still not enough to hold conversations in Hebrew.

Despite all that, I’m glad that I came. The benefits of being here definitely outweigh the hardships. I think that this coming year will be just as amazing and a lot easier. I’m hoping that the hardest part of learning the culture is behind me!

It’s Friday morning now. My email inbox was full of Black Friday adds this morning, but for me, this is a cozy day at home. I need to do laundry, clean house, and work on my research proposal presentation, but first things first. I decided to prioritize decorating for Christmas and writing this blog post.

It’s one of those rainy days where all you want to do is curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea. Yet, I didn’t want to be totally unproductive. Accordingly, I’m at my desk, looking out at the damp outdoors, glad that I’m inside and not outside. I’m wearing my coziest sweater, listening to Christmas music, and enjoying a cup of tea and a few wedges from a chocolate orange. I bought the chocolate orange in the London airport and carefully transported it all the way to Denver, and then back to Israel. In my mind, chocolate oranges are the ultimate holiday candy.

My Christmas decorations are minimal, since such things are hard to acquire here in Israel. At least I was able to find some candles and twinkle lights. Last year, I pretty much ignored Thanksgiving and Christmas, since they aren’t relevant here in Israel. This year, I decided that I need at least a little bit of Christmas spirit.

My research proposal defense is scheduled for this week. For those of you who pray for me, please pray that it goes well. Thanks!

One response to “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  1. Your research proposal defense is a pretty big deal. We will lift you to the Father, and Shepherd of our souls, for clarity of mind, and success.

    Like

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