I’ve just arrived in Paris, and find myself surrounded by Westerners for the first time in two weeks. Twelve hours from now I will set foot back in the States and be on my way to enjoying Christmas Eve dinner surrounded by my family and friends. Taking this opportunity to reflect back on the amazing experiences I’ve had over the course of the past two weeks, I realize how fortunate I am. From an academic perspective I’ve learned much about sustainability and the functioning of carbon markets by taking part in the Hariyali project. But perhaps more importantly, my experiences traveling through the villages of Gujarat, in particular the visit to the salt farm, taught me the realities of true poverty. We often lose sight of what is truly important amidst the materialism that has come to define the Christmas season. This year I pledge to take the time to focus on what really matters. I am thankful to have a loving family and good friends, as well as access to the basic needs in life; food, shelter and healthcare. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to achieve success in life based on my own initiative, wherein many throughout the world are born into bondage. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you that have followed this blog, and to wish everybody, regardless of creed, a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!