By UL student ambassador Bianca Smith

Thanksgiving is a very big American holiday. It falls on the 4th Thursday of every November and it also happens to be my favorite holiday. Every year, growing up, we would go to my grandmother’s house and the entire family would get together. Around 1 pm we would start the eating festivities! It was the best, we would have course after course of delicious food and just sit around the table the whole day talking and being grateful to each other for being together. I looked forward to it so much so that it held off my Christmas buzz and I would dare to say it was actually more fun for me than Christmas.

This year I will be here at UL for Thanksgiving and so I will be away from my home and my usual family gathering. I am a bit sad about that but I have also decided that just because I am not home, it does not mean that I can’t still be grateful and celebrate in style with other people who I love. So I have decided to have a Friendsgiving, just to take some time out and spread the love with people around me. And of course to eat an indulgent meal, whatever it may be!

So on this upcoming Sunday I will have all of the girls over from my course and we will enjoy a Friendsgiving meal. It is called Friendsgiving because it is a Thanksgiving celebration with friends! I always thought that was such a clever name. I told that to my Irish friends here and they said, ‘Americans always have the best phrases for everything!’ It’s funny to hear them say that because I usually don’t think twice about the expressions I use. Or at least I never did until I came here!

We have all decided that we will order a takeaway from my favorite Thai restaurant in town, Bambu. It’s actually a Thai/Indian place if I’m being accurate! The food is absolutely delicious and to me it feels indulgent because it’s an upgrade from the Chinese food you get here. It’s also a treat for me to order in because I spend most of my days cooking for myself. I have a cute little fireplace in my living room (which they call a stove and the sitting room here) so I think I will light a fire and we can just sit around the fire and eat our meal. We have our final performance this week so it’s fitting that we have a Friendsgiving to celebrate!

We will have plenty to be grateful for come Sunday. I’m looking forward to volunteering at the Light Moves Festival of Screendance this weekend, (which I will tell you all about in my next post) so I am grateful for that! I personally am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had since coming to UL; not only being an ambassador and getting to share my experiences with you, but also being in this program alongside my talented colleagues. And most importantly for getting to get to spend some more quality time in my favorite country. Happy Friendsgiving!

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