Thanksgiving, INDIA STYLE

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve decided this is something I need to put up here.


  • Michael Buble. Besides the fact that his voice is literally a heavenly mix of chocolate and velvet, he reminds me of being a little kid listening to my dad singing while I fell asleep on Sunday nights. Also music here = escape.
  • All the teachers who have taken the time and energy to actually TEACH me something, or to make me excited about a subject, or just to listen to my thoughts and make me think about things in a new light. I’m realizing exactly how difficult teaching can be, and I’ve never had more respect for those people in my life who have genuinely shaped me as a person. Shoutouts to Mrs. Selletti, Ms. Finn, and Mr. Stillman: I really can’t thank you enough.
  • Peanut butter. It’s happiness in a jar. Enough said.
  • Lily Patten MacLeod. Saying that India is a tough country would be the understatement of the year, but somehow she is helping me maintain my feeble grip on sanity. Also, she lets me sleep in, reminds me to take my medications, puts Neosporin on my grossly infected ear, and shares her hot chocolate mix with me ❤
  • Bananagrams!!!! So many good times. So much entertainment in such a small (and adorable) container.
  • As fleeting as it is, I’ve never appreciated not being ill more.
  • The letters written to me by so many friends and family members, collected by one Beth Sherman prior to my departure. Many a days have been turned from awful to amazing just by reading one of those letters. It really does make it easier knowing the amazing support system I have back home.
  • The hot shower we have in our house: the first hot shower I’ve had access to since September, and nothing is better on a cold night after a long day.
  • The Himalayan Mountains in our LITERAL BACKYARD!
  • My mentor, Emily. I’ve never had a mentor before, but I definitely love having her to talk to about my problems, or just to joke around with. She’s an awesome listener, a super chill person, and just a general badass!
  • The Dominoes pizza we were able to order for lunch on Thanksgiving, because despite the fact that the food here is ridiculously delicious, I’ve missed pizza more than I can put into words. Along those lines, the chocolate molten lava cake that Nelsen accompanied me on a mission to find: I almost cried.
  • Kwano Krew! Even though we’ve long left South Africa, I know I can always count on those girls to brighten my day.
  • Our guide, Vinod. He’s always there to answer our questions, play badminton, lead us on a hike, and just accompany us for our general shenanigans in India.
  • Nail polish. It’s the little things.
  • Being able to visit the Golden Temple the night before Thanksgiving. Seeing it illuminated above the water, shining like some other-worldly beacon through our sleep-deprived haze, was an experience unlike any other, and one that filled me with awe at the sheer capability of human kind to create beauty.
  • As much as it is the literal bane of my existence, working out actually does make me feel a lot better, and I definitely wouldn’t be motivated to do it without the crazy crew sweating it out with me everyday.
  • Beth and Bill Sherman. I love you guys, a lot. Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting me on taking this trip: I honestly think it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Thank you for always loving me and supporting me and just being awesome parents por lo general.
  • Everyone who has woken up early or stayed up late to Skype/Facetime with me!! Obviously the Internet isn’t exactly prime, and the times aren’t ideal, but it really does make my week to be able to talk with you all!!
  • My host family back in South Africa, and my new host family here. The fact of the matter is that I no longer have one family, I have four. Which brings me to my next point:
  • TBBeast!!! Aka my fourth family. Throughout this trip, I have laughed, cried, screamed, dreamed, and schemed more than ever before. I have shared things that I’ve never told a soul, and changed my personal outlook on the world. I’ve been challenged in more ways than I can count, and I’m coming to the definite realization that it’s not only these experiences that are going to change me, but the people I’m experiencing them with. And I’m so, so happy about that.


Happy Thanksgiving!!! Ours consisted of Dominoes pizza, watching the new James Bond movie, took-took tag through the streets of Amritsar, and dinner at a fancy micro-brewery that held a certain night club-esque vibe (I decided to keep it classy and ordered some mac n cheese for my personal Thanksgiving dinner). It really was an amazing day, and I’m so happy we were all able to take a mini-vacation from work to spend it together in Amritsar.

We’re back to the grind now, except Gayan Deep is just starting exam season for their students, so Julia and I have been accompanying Lily and Alea to their school, which is a lot smaller and less stressful.

In other news, IST is this weekend, a most of us are planning to hike up one of the nearby mountains, so that’s exciting!! Will hopefully be able to talk more about how that went next week, if I’m not too stressed about media projects, which are also a hot-button topic right now. Noah, Sophie and I are doing a project on love, specifically on marriage, including the whole topic of arranged marriages. It’s a work in progress, and hopefully one that will get done before we leave India!

I am so, so thankful for each and everyone one of my family members and friends back home. Your love and support is making this process possible for me, and I miss you all a lot!! Please don’t ever hesitate to send an email, Facebook message, or even just a comment, because I love hearing from you guys 🙂



In order to save the world, we must first discover it.




  1. Sandy · December 5, 2015

    Ellie: I am enjoying reading your posting and hearing about your adventures and your thoughts about them. So glad that you’re having an experience of a lifetime. Family Thanksgiving was not the same without you, but your mom and dad are so proud of you. Have started Christmas shopping and when I see something that is a potential gift for you, I get a bit sad that we won’t see you this holiday but the sadness is blunted by my admiration for your sense of adventure. XOXO Sandy


    • elliesherman · February 4, 2016

      Sandy!!! So good to hear from you!!! I miss you all so so so much, especially during the holiday season, but I managed to keep myself busy and live through all the lovely pictures on Facebook. Can’t believe this trip is already getting so close to being over and being able to see you again!!


  2. Rachel · December 6, 2015

    I am thankful for YOU and this blog and all the thought and love and adventure and spunk that burst from every word!! THANK YOU for sharing everything!! miss you and love you ❤ ❤


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