Magic Words

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it. – Ralph Marston

This weekend my neighbours came through for me with very practical help when I was faced with some frustrating circumstances. Life here in East Africa is wonderfully laid back but this laid-back attitude can lead to delays and problems when trying to do something simple like transfer money back to the UK. After attempting to transfer money multiple times with no luck, I was getting somewhat stressed out with the systems that were not working and the fact that my UK bank account was needing to be topped up as soon as possible. My neighbours came to the rescue and transferred the money for me through their bank account without even a second thought – helping me out in the most practical and immediate way and easing my stress levels considerably! I felt like the words ‘thank you’ just weren’t enough.

One of the virtues I was taught from an early age was thankfulness. I remember, as a child, being taught the magic words: ‘please’, ‘excuse me’, ‘sorry’ and, most importantly, ‘thank you’. Even to this day, when working with the children in my classes, I will say ‘What’s the magic word?’ to encourage their understanding of the importance of taking other people’s feelings into account and of showing gratefulness to others.

This post is basically a list of all the things that have made me thankful over the past little while!

I am thankful for good neighbours who are willing to help in any way to make life easier.

I am thankful for a community who have enveloped me since I arrived here – making me feel welcome and part of their lives immediately. I am thankful for all the times I’ve been cooked dinner at people’s houses. I am thankful for nights under the stars with glasses of wine and new friends.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to work here in a beautiful country and with lovely people – with the bonus of it being in a role that I love.

I am thankful for Skype and FaceTime and WhatsApp and being able to stay connected with my loved ones on a daily basis (as long as the power is on!). I am thankful for the knowledge that our friendships are unaffected by distance and time. I am thankful for the reunions to come.

I am thankful for my little home filled with mementos and photographs. I am thankful for the geckos that scurry about the walls of my house, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. I am thankful for sunshine and vitamin D ensuring my mood stays light and I feel happy and at peace.

I am thankful.

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