A Lot to be Thankful For

Posted By: MariaPalarino
Posted On: December 8th, 2019
Attending: Waterford Institute of Technology

Today someone asked me what my favorite thing about living in Waterford is. I knew what the answer was right away. I explained to him that the people I have met here are by far the best part of this city. I am extremely thankful for the everyone around me!

I’m used to being away from home for Thanksgiving. I haven’t been able to celebrate with my family for the past few years because it always falls in the middle of basketball season. However, I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who always make me feel at home around the holidays. In college, we would usually play in a Thanksgiving tournament. Over the years, my teammates families would host a Thanksgiving dinner for our team. Thank you to the Derda’s, Hickman’s, and Coach T’s family for welcoming us into your homes and giving us a Thanksgiving feast! This incredible sense of hospitality hasn’t changed since I arrived in Ireland.

Sport Changes Life was generous enough to host a Thanksgiving dinner for all of the scholars in Belfast, but unfortunately due to exams and games I wasn’t able to make it up there. However, my coaches Jillian and Trish hosted an amazing, delicious Thanksgiving dinner for our entire Wildcats team. Myself and Jas Walker are the only Americans, but it was really nice that our entire team took the time to celebrate our traditions with us. They went out of their way to make sure that we got our turkey and stuffing, and even decorated the house with American flags. It was a great night and I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.

I am also thankful for FaceTime, because every Thanksgiving I get passed around the dinner table at home and get to talk to everyone in my family. Even though I’m not physically able to be there, it is still nice to hear their voices and see their faces. While it is hard to be away from my family during the holidays, it’s comforting to know that I have a family in Waterford, too, that is always taking care of me ❤️

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