Joyeux Noel

I tried to write this in the Reunion airport, like I always do, but I lost Wi-Fi. :(

Freaking France and their unreliable Wi-Fi! So I’m writing it on the plane, after a few glasses of champagne and Bordeaux and feeling very full after my Christmas dinner.

Last night, I made a quick post on Christmas eve, and I was just about to go to an expat celebration. It was SO FUN. Yes, there may have been a few moments where I thought about tearing up, but for the most part, I just had a complete blast. There was just laughing, eating, drinking, and dancing. It was like a real live Christmas Eve Party. Sergio and I even brought over a decorated Christmas tree, and the movie, "Merry Madagacar" was even playing in the background.

Early on in the night....I realized that the world would not stop turning if I didn’t spend Christmas with my family. See….at times I’m a self involved only child and I think the world revolves around me. These last two weeks, in my mind, I couldn’t understand how it could possibly happen that the world would…or could continue on.... when I’m not spending Christmas with my family….all together… :P

It was after about ten minutes of being at my friend’s house, that I figured out not only does life go on on when I spend Christmas without my family, but I get to experience something pretty amazing. First, spending Christmas eve with a group of misfit expats, that are so hilariously goofy and wonderful and caring; and second, spreading Canadian Christmas spirit and treats to all the nationals I see; and third, I’m spending Christmas eve, in the jungle, with my Canadian family and friends in my heart, with me, though they are more then ten thousand kilometrs away from me. (I mentioned I've had a few glasses of champagne, right? I'm pretty sappy at the moment!)

I told Sergio, that the night was finally here, and I made it, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and wow, was I ever having a good time!! I danced the night away, I laughed, and I woke up in the morning pretty happy.

Ok. Pretty happy. There was still a part of me that was missing my family. That’s a given. But I was doing okay. I spent the morning with Sergio, enjoying the weather and Madagascar, counting my blessings, and then went to the airport (where we ran into three new expats that were stranded at the airport. They had no transportation, no money, and could not speak a word of French. I think Sergio officially was the hero of the day as he took care of them and got them settled in a local hotel). Anyway, I said goodbye to Sergio and got on the plane en route to Reunion. I think last night's rum consumption was catching up with me, so I slept the entire flight.

Once I arrived in Reunion, it was time to call Canada, to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I called my mom, and kept it together. I wasn’t too upset and just happy to hear her voice (she was in BC where she lives). And then I called the rest of the family. I spoke to ten or so of my family members and with each Merry Christams wish, I started to get more and more upset. Inthe Air Austral lounge, sitting on Skype (next to a collegue no less), I started to cry, but was happy to at least be able to speak with each family member for a few minutes. (Man, did I feel like a loser crying, sitting with my headphones/microphone thing on, in the very busy airport lounge, crying while attempting to dry my eyes and wipe my nose with my t-shirt!!)

After I hung up, went to the bathroom, cried my eyes out for a mere ninety seconds or so, then came back out, apologized to my collegue (who totally understood and was very gratious) and then sat back, drank a glass of champagne, and waited for my flight to be called.

Right now, I’m en route to Paris and then to Belgium, and how very lucky I am for that. I didn’t have the vacation time to get to Canada, so instead I get to go and visit my very best friend and her family and get out of Madagascar for a few days. Yes, I’m sad, that I’m spending Christmas night on a plane, instead of the regular, but, I’m also very, extremely appreciative of everything that’s going on right now.

The weather in Paris has settled down, I have a nice warm winter coat that I get to wear in my fun week in Belgium, and my family is safe and sound in Canada, all celebrating together, thinking of me, and I’m wearing a super fancy cool watch from Capri that Sergio bought me for Christmas.

(Just as a side note, one of Sergio’s stocking stuffers was a can of Extra Strength RAID. This was the first time I’ve given out insecticide as a stocking stuffer!)

Anyway, this Christmas has been different, but I am BEYOND blessed. I’m still a wimp and baby expat, I still cried when I called home, but I’m so lucky. Life as I know it, its very, very good.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and truly appreciates all that is good in their world right now.

Goodnight everyone, and Joyeux Noel et Meilleure voeux.

1 comment:

  1. Nicole, this brought tears to my eyes when I read it. I too was trying to stay tear free while I was talking with you on Christmas Day as I knew you would be teary (so I too had tears when we finished talking). So, I think you did very well keeping it together! You are quite right that we are both blessed to be surrounded by people that love and care for us even if they are not all within our reach!
    big hug and lots of love, Mom