That’s right, Thanksgiving.  And I’m not talking about the feasting, though it is fantastic – it’s actually one of the only regular ritual feasts that is an official holiday in the US.  It’s the myth of the original Thanksgiving that I am thinking of.  While not all of the SOI regions celebrate the day, it does line up with Sentinel’s spirit.  According to the story taught to us as young children, the feast was originally thrown as a tribute to the Indians (actually the Wampanoag Tribe) who shared their knowledge and skills with the European immigrants who where then able to sustain themselves and share their bounty.

As an organization, we identify with both sides of the story.  While we are not teaching students how to grow corn, we are sharing knowledge that can sustain families, and that knowledge is a bounty to be further shared, one that can save lives.  On the other hand, we are also giving thanks, in honor of those who have come before us, those that developed and refined techniques based upon their experiences, those that shared experiences with us so that we could refine our own skills and now share them with others.

We give thanks throughout the year, but it is nice to have a holiday dedicated to that.  Most of America has moved on to Christmas and gift-giving, which is perfect, because we are now planning for 2014.  Please help support our students by making a donation through our partner non-profit To Return.  Whatever you can offer helps, it could support a WFR scholarship for a porter, a course in Maasailand for the iconic tribe of East Africa, or a course for the Hadzabe, possibly the oldest tribe on earth who are beginning to organize their own tourism industry.  Check it out: To Return – Continuing Education

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