On Tuesday, non-profit Epic Change has launched a global campaign to change the world through the power of gratitude – Epic Thanks. In support of their great work and that of the amazing changemakers they work with, including Mama Lucy Kamptoni from Tanzania, I wanted to share a few things that I'm especially grateful for.
Having the opportunity to grow up in Africa is something that I'm eternally thankful for. Lying in the outdoors with the afternoon sun on my back. Walking barefoot on the dewy grass. Spending entire Decembers at my grandparents home, with twenty-odd other relatives. Struggling to get mangos down from the tree and then eating them right then and there. Sneaking off to the river at the bottom of the shamba to play in the cool and absolutely clear water. All of us kids cross-legged on the floor, eating from one big platter. Entertaining ourselves in the evenings with hand games and dance competitions. Playing with the baby goats and preventing the chickens from becoming dinner (on that day at least). Ocean waves to jump into, beaches to spend all day on. Family celebrations filled with laughter, drama and dancing. Every grown up being your mother or father – tough when you're naughty but oh-so-rewarding when you're good. Exploring the buzzing market and learning new sights and smells. A certain spirit, a certain savviness. Resilience. Joy. Belonging.
I am thankful for all these things that I have experienced and that have made me who I am. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to share my love with you all. Thank you for reading; for sharing and spreading the love and; for inspiring and encouraging me!
Finally, I want to give extra thanks to my parents today. They have been exceptional examples of what it is to love where you're from, both in terms of home as a physical place and in terms of all that it represents. They has shown me the value of strength of character, of diligence and perhaps most significantly, of standing up for what you believe in and who you are, even when that means going against the grain.
What are you thankful for? Come and join the global celebration on Epic Thanks.
Images – things I'm grateful for: the tree outside my window, growing up; one of my favourite places to be – an African beach on the Indian Ocean; my parents and brother.