This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve ever spent away from America. Strange to find, that for everyone else, it’s only another day. However, lucky for me, I’ll be joining other American Rotary scholars in London for a feast. Thanksgiving always reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for, especially this year. I have the most incredible opportunity and platform to contribute to a better world.

However, I can’t agree with Elizabeth Carter  to “remember, that not to be happy is not to be grateful.” Aside from the abundance of friends, family and feasts, I know my advantage isn’t reflective of all humanity. Oppression and sadness still exist, even when my abundance is great. Thanksgiving is the celebration of colonialist domination, oppression, and the dehumanization of indigineous peoples. Rather than be complacent, a little love for humanity can go along way…

However, I had the most lovely Thanksgiving in London with fellow Ambassadorial Scholar, Meganne Torkelson, who reminded me its true meaning. Sometimes you must put looming world problems on the back burner, and appreciate what’s right in front of your eyes. Making Thanksgiving for 25 guests really special wouldn’t have been possible for Meganne without that positive spirit.

Here are some of the night’s highlights:

Thank you to Rotary, to Meganne, to those brave enough to care about all life, those giving a voice to those less heard, and all the incredible people in my life who took a risk and supported me. I’m incredibly lucky.

Much love and gratitude,

Daniella

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