I spent my Thanksgiving at a resort outside of Encarnacion with several hundreds of Americans celebrating all that is great about our lives in Paraguay and our home in the United States. Swimming pools and all! It was a serious blast- auctions, competitions, hiking, dancing, and lots of friendly banter amongst close friends. And thank heavens for close friends- because this lovely weekend I also had my first adventure to a Paraguayan emergency room. The final night of our event, I was dancing with a super awesome friend and dance partner when I encountered some broken glass on the floor. Another friend passes by, "Be careful not to step on that glass!" It was already too late. Not realizing how badly I had cut my foot, I tried to continue the dance until realizing that the floor had become quite slippery... I was dancing in a puddle of my own blood. I limped across the dance floor to an area with more light and we quickly realized there was a larger problem at hand, pools of red followed in the wake of each footstep. Realizing the gravity of the situation, people began to mobilize- some of my friends even removing their shirts to stop the spouting blood. Bringing me water and making all the necessary phone calls- a friend smiles and says "Don't worry- this will all be funny tomorrow." I glare back, "Yeah, it's not funny yet." Carried by two of my G-mates still in their swim-trunks having just left the pool, and rushed to the emergency room by the PC security officer- I'm sure the hospital has seen a stranger bunch, but not by much. A little wincing with two friends to hold my hand and cover my eyes (I hate blood)- I was fixed up in no time. Two layers of stitches: one to close the artery I had apparently hit and another for my skin. I get to the waiting room to find my friends asleep, still only half dressed but there to take me home.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for friends no matter where I am in the world! There is so much to be grateful for this year, but the relationships I have with all of you are at the top of my list.