November 28

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Thankful on Thursday

I made my return flight home from Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago.  Seems crazy that these six months on assignment are nearing an end, it went so fast!  I remember thinking the application process for PULSE felt like forever.  I return to the U.S. on December 15th, earlier than I expected.  My NGO supervisor, Tiki, is leaving Kuala Lumpur himself on December 15th to be with his family in London.  I’m dreading saying goodbye to all the great people who I was lucky enough to have met while here in Malaysia on my PULSE assignment.

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I only have two more meal packaging events left with Stop Hunger Now Asia, one on November 30th and my last on December 12th.  The remaining two events that will close out 2013, as well as the one held last weekend, have been to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  Most likely the largest storm to ever hit land, Haiyan killed thousands, displaced nearly half a million, and has adversely affected nearly 4 million people.  Fear of a shortage of food and clean water has sparked looting at local stores, and one victim says that food aid can’t come quickly enough.  Stop Hunger Now is acting quickly to provide life-saving food and aid to the families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. My NGO has already sent close to 400,000 meals there in the past two weeks, and our goal is to send at least one million meals.  Stop Hunger Now is committed to provide assistance as long as it is needed in the disaster-stricken areas of the Philippines.

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It is so strange because today is actually Thanksgiving and I’m sitting at work.  They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Malaysia, it’s just like any other Thursday.  It has been bizarre watching life just pass by back home.  I’ve missed funerals, births, holidays… life doesn’t stop because I’m not there anymore.  I’ve realized it’s more of the little moments that I didn’t think really mattered, like walking my dogs for example, that end up being the ones I miss the most.  I’m definitely a little homesick today and missing my family.  I’m looking forward to returning home right before Christmas though.  It will be the perfect time to catch up with family and friends.  I will continue to focus on my NGO assignment and enjoy the small amount of time I have left here in Kuala Lumpur.  I wouldn’t trade this rewarding experience in for anything!  I’m extremely grateful and thankful today, even if it’s not Thanksgiving in Malaysia.  Stay tuned…