Thank you

At my last job, the CEO sent a handwritten note to each employee at the end of year. The note wasn’t long but a simple message saying thank you for being a part of the team. Throughout the year, he’d remind us that thank you notes, especially ones with our own penmanship, were the proper and only way to be grateful.

Although individual addressed letters aren’t always possible, I believe one should always say thank you, even for the smallest action. In Niger, every conversation ends with na gode or merci.

I strongly believe that every action for another person warrants a thank you. Favors, compliments, support. And the end of the year always feels like a good time to do some thanking.

First, I’d like to thank my lovely readers, from those who devour every post to those who’ve only logged on a few times. I must have made a snide comment in last month’s update about my lack of an audience because many have made a point to tell me, or someone I talk to regularly, that they read my blog loyally. Thank you. The greatest compliment someone can give me is to read my writing and I can hardly express how happy each and every one of you makes me. Thank you for being a part of this journey.

To my villagers (none of them will read this but I still wanted to say it here), thank you for opening your little community to me and making me a part of it. Thank you for caring about me and being patient when I don’t understand. Thank you for teaching me what it means to care. Thank you for helping shape me into a better person.

My stagmates, thank you for constantly supporting me, even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for encouraging words and never once doubting me. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t.

To my pen pals, your letters are the best part of my month. Thank you for keeping me connected to home and your lives.

To my dear friends and family, thank you for the unending support that I am not sure I deserve. I took a big chance by coming here but you were all rooting for me. I’ve never felt more loved and encouraged than I did in the month leading to my departure. So many people went out of their way to tell me what I mean to them and how proud they are of me and a lot of them continue to do so with letters and emails. Please know that I owe each of you unremitting encouragement and will always be in your corner.

Most of all, thank you to my family. I can’t begin to understand how it feels to allow your daughter to move to a place unimaginably foreign, but I am incredibly thankful my family did. They are constantly telling me how proud they are of me and making my mailbox one of envy. I would never know this life if it weren’t for them. Thank you.

Thank you. Merci. Na gode.


One thought on “Thank you

  1. Heather,
    You are so right about thank you notes and it is great hearing that from such a young woman. Your mother, or your boss, certainly made a lasting impression.

    You will soon be meeting members of my stage as they come to the Zinder region to join you in Peace Corps endeavors. Please help them out—I know you will—and know that I wish I could be there to meet you. I am one of your faithful followers and have each post saved, some to read later when time allows a more leisurely reading. I will be installed in the Tillaberi region later this week and only hope to be as successful in my work as you are. Cheers! Judy Smtih

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