“Happy Birthday USA, you problem child, you.” – Amber Tamblyn
My sentiments exactly.
This was my first holiday out of the country, and far from the last. I was in Addis still, so there were still toilets, working showers, fairly decent wifi, and I could wear jeans (with a white shirt and red scarf).
The Fourth of July has always been about family of choice for me. Great food (that is terrible for you), friends and of course fireworks. A few days ago, I had two out of the three. (A shout out to New Jersey – I feel your pain). I left an amazing group of friend/siblings behind in the US; and I’ve been lucky enough to have walked into another family of choice – G17 Peace Corps Ethiopia. We all chose this amazing & crazy adventure, and found a whole group of people who feel like instant family. Celebrating the 4th with them was excellent. I still missed fireworks, but our PCVLs bought us sparklers, which were pretty great. (And dairy free cake that was amazing! If any of you are reading this – that was so thoughtful it almost made me cry. You are amazing.)
I’m currently living in (yes, living. Yes, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. No I don’t think it will happen any time soon.) a country with a government controlled media, internet and press. This Fourth of July I have been taking time and reflecting on how deeply I value my ability to publicly talk about my discontent with the government, protest particular people in high offices, and our free press. (Yes, it exists, and facts are facts.)
I am so grateful for my family of choice on both sides of the Atlantic. Cheers and happy ‘murica day to you all.