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Thanksgiving Away from Home in Shanghai

Thanksgiving is all about sharing a special moment with family and reuniting with loved ones, therefore it would make sense to be home for the holidays. This was one of the main reasons why I was a bit hesitant to study abroad in Shanghai, due to the fact that I would miss special holidays like this one as well as my birthday, but I thought about all the other positive things studying abroad would give to me and the pros outweighed the cons.

As November began I was starting to feel a bit homesick because this is the time when back home you start feeling the holiday spirit; but here in China it is difficult to even find a Christmas tree, or Christmas lights this time of year. With all this in mind, Thanksgiving day was around the corner and I was not only starting to sense the feeling of nostalgia within me but I could also see it in my peers.

Little did we know our program director here in Shanghai had a little surprise for us, and had arranged a very special Thanksgiving dinner at one of the most popular restaurants here in Shanghai.

We were all so excited and we were eager to spend Thanksgiving evening together doing something out of the ordinary. The dinner, of course, was not going to be your traditional turkey and mashed potatoes, but instead it was something better, traditional Shanghainese food!

For all of us in this program this is a true delicacy because we have all learned to appreciate and love this food, therefore you can imagine the excitement among all of us. We all got ready, and headed to the restaurant, where we had amazing views of the city and the food was to die for.

Throughout dinner we all said our thanks and talked about our blessings, and we all agreed that even though we are thousands of miles away from home and our loved ones on this special day, we are all very lucky to be in such a wonderful city experiencing and learning new things.

At the end of dinner, our program director surprised us with traditional Chinese stamps with each of our names engraved in them. We were all so happy that we were able to share this evening together and see that we have become closer as friends and were able to have a wonderful dinner together. 

Katherine Guevara is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Shanghai, China. She is currently a senior at the University of Houston.

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