There is certainly a lot to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for the incredible opportunity that Sport Changes Life has provided me with, and I am thankful for all of the people that Ireland has brought me too. This Thanksgiving all of the Scholars met up in Belfast and had a much needed reunion, as well as an incredible authentic Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is such family oriented holiday, so it was nice to be surrounded by our extended SCL family on such an important day. I have spoken a lot about the importance of home and family, and I appreciate that SCL, the Portlaoise Panthers, and the Maynooth community have all become new additions to my family. I also appreciate that while although Ireland is our new home, SCL still acknowledges that we are all far away from our original home and we do miss our friends and families, especially on the holidays.
My favorite part about the Thanksgiving reunion was that SCL surprised all of us with a video with clips from all of our families wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving. I was filled with so much happiness and emotion when I saw my family’s message to me. My dad even included my dog Peanut in his video. My heart was so full when I saw my cute little black pug appear on the screen. Deja empathized with me when she saw the video of her turtle, and she was filled with some similar feelings. The food was great, the company was even better, and the surprise video from our families is a memory I will always treasure.
All of the scholars were also able to venture around Belfast together and while we were celebrating Thanksgiving, Belfast was preparing for Christmas. We went to the Belfast Christmas Market, which had so much Christmas spirit and some super quality pastries. Thanksgiving in Belfast was definitely a success and I am looking forward to being back in Belfast this upcoming weekend for the greatly anticipated Belfast Classic! Thank you again for Sport Changes Life for such a wonderful Thanksgiving!