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Well, I am alive.

Boy walking on the street.

And I am thankful, even though I didn’t say so on this blog exactly on Thanksgiving Day.

Last week I made my first and pray-to-God last trip to the hospital here in the Philippines. That sounds more dramatic than it needs to, but can’t a girl just play the drama card for at least a few days after? Just between us, the drama factor was actually pretty low. I didn’t stay overnight. But yes, I did have to go to the hospital and it was one of the more overwhelming living abroad experiences I’ve had thus far.*

*When did I start saying “thus far?” Was it before or after those peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Hm.

Neighborhood in the city.

Hospital story: I came down with a mystery virus last week.

Maybe you remember that I am not the kind of person who is really tough with sickness and pain. I am the kind of person who gets a 3-spot rash on her arm and knows that she has a severe case of Unknown Tropical Disease and is, in fact, dying. If this is the part of the story where you start feeling sorry for Bjork, then you’re getting it.

I went to the hospital and found out that I was not dying but I had a super low white blood cell count. Hey, Meanie Virus. Nice to see you on the week of Thanksgiving because I was hoping to lay around on a sore back and eat crackers all week. NOT.

After the whole runaround with hot waiting rooms, syringes {EW} in a tiny curtained booth, a crowded doctor’s office, and giant purple mystery pills from the warehouse pharmacy, I can say with deep-seated passion that I’m so thankful that I have always had access to clean, comfortable, and personalized medical care throughout my life.  What a gift.

And I would have really said all that last week, when it was actually Thanksgiving, but I was sweating through all my tank tops, drinking pink Gatorade, and compulsively checking my arm rash every 5 seconds.

In honor of missing Thanksgiving, and feeling a heck of a lot better, here are some other things I’m thankful for:

Happy kids with cute, crooked glasses.

Young girl wearing glasses.

Adorable neighbors.

Young children peeking out of a door way.

Neighbors that are adorable.

Young boys.

Baby eyes.

Baby smiling.

A kind and gentle community of people.

Man and young boy in the street.

Also, the internet. It’s an amazing tool, isn’t it? And you! You who email, you who comment, and you who check in on this little corner of the internet, just because.

You’re the best. XO.

Now. Whaddya say we make up for all those crackers? I say yes.

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