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We Can Do Hard Things: Thank You, Khun Kathryn

For the past five years, Kathryn Goldman has served as Director of Programming and Training of Peace Corps Thailand. Staff, PCVs and RPCVs would like to say thank you to Kathryn for her dedication, contributions and guidance as a leader, role model and mentor. The Peace Corps Thailand community wishes Kathryn all the best in her next venture:


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Thank you for your all that you do, have done, and continue to bring to the Peace Corps Community, and to the United States. You have consistently kept service at the forefront of your mind and are an inspiration to all who set out to help others across the globe. Peace Corps Thailand is extremely lucky to have had you serve as the DPT for a number of years and your presence in country will be missed. You can definitely “do hard things” but sometimes you just need to do “simple, easy, low pressure things”. Enjoy your travels and best of luck.

– Neil Pickus, 131 YinD


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Kathryn,

Thank you for your invaluable mentoring during and after my Peace Corps service. I’ve learned from you in many ways.  Your genuine care and investment in my success is very appreciated. I thank you for the opportunities you’ve given me. You are an example of what I aspire to do and be in the future. You are amazing at what you do! I’m very grateful to have had the chance to work with you. Cheers to your next steps.

– Tiffany Fitzgerald, 129 TESS


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Thanks for being there during the ups and downs and being our voice for the Thai staff. I really appreciate the advice and support you have given me and other volunteers. I will miss you! We can do hard things!

– Desiree Brown, 131 TESS

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Kathryn, thank you for always being a listening ear, a strong advocate, and a role model for us volunteers.  You are incredibly selfless and kind in everything you do and are a true inspiration to me.  I will miss you so much but I know that there are so many adventures out there waiting for you.  Keep in touch and best of luck.

– Lucy Zhao, 130 YinD


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Kathryn,

It was such a treat to have you as my DPT and by extension a wonderful addition to my Peace Corps family. I had the privilege of sharing three years divided between two regions of Thailand with you. You’ve in turn have always shared yourself and your story and allowed all of us to fall in love with both you and your family. You’ve always kept it real when speaking to your shared experiences and the things that you strive for. You have always been a brilliant example for when there’s self-development to feel out, that its best to lean into, even when it’s uncomfortable. I’m always going to be reminded of sharing my site and classroom with you, or the long conversations that we’ve had that have bled into one or more conference sessions. You even had the pleasure of seeing me at my pre-and-post my Einstein haircut. Thailand couldn’t have asked for a better DPT, mentor, and one more brilliant smile to add to its many others. Much love!

– Danyal Eisenbrandt, 128 YinD


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Kathryn,

Thanks for being our savior! I always knew that I could turn to you for anything and with that came a sense of security. You have an amazing warmth that you share with anyone you’re near and it’ll be missed greatly here in Thailand! Thank you for always offering help, a friendly face and usually a good laugh. I’ll miss you dearly but can’t wait to see you stateside!

Best wishes!

– Ali Talwar, 130 TESS


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Kathryn was one of the first people I talked with in Peace Corps Thailand. I remember we had a conference call in November 2017 to talk about some general guidelines. Kathryn and Khun Rumpai were facilitating the call and I remember thinking that they both seemed so professional, but so approachable. Fast-forward to our arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport in January 2018 and Kathryn was there to greet us with a smile. Throughout PST and service she has always been a strong and steady presence. She is like a much more put-together Ms. Frizzle and she has supported us tremendously on this Magic School Bus that is PC. Thank you for being there for us; good luck with everything!

– Nick Melrose, 130 TESS


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It always seemed like Kathryn knew what we were thinking as Peace Corps trainees during PST and could speak to those feelings of anxiety, excitement, and confusion so eloquently. I will miss her strong guidance throughout the rest of my service and wish her well in her next endeavors!

– Natalie Heinitz, 131 YinD

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Kathryn,

You are an exemplary leader and a personal inspiration to many (and defintely me.) Thank you for your example, your thoughtfulness, and all the extra little things you do that go above and beyond what anyone could expect of you.

Wishing you the best of luck in your next journey.

– Carissa Chantiles, 127 YinD


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Dear Kathryn,

Thank you, thank you for everything. Thank you for being the voice of reason and face of reassurance throughout our first months in this new country. Thank you for taking a group of wide-eyed, idealistic Americans who couldn’t say “sawadee” and helping to mold us into Peace Corps Volunteers ready to take on the world. Thanks for captaining this ship and navigating us through the storms. Thanks for giving us a kick in the butt when we needed it, and reminding us that we can do hard things even when giving up seemed like an easier option. You were a kind, encouraging, inspiring face that kept us grounded and kicked us out of the nest at the same time.Thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Until next time,

– Caitlin Navratil, 131 YinD


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Kathryn,

After working with you during PST, I believe wholeheartedly that Thailand PCVs could not have asked for a stronger advocate. During training, I felt at ease under your leadership. You understand us and believe in us —always communicating this through your unwavering confidence in our abilities, through your calmness and understanding, and through your conviction that we can do hard things. In a short time, you taught me to be okay with hard days and to confront adversity and to challenge myself and to give myself grace, as these are key elements in a successful service. I will also hold on to the idea that we should approach this daunting task of serving and teaching abroad with a smile and a sense of humor — something I learned from your undying positivity and excitement during those first three months. Thank you for being a guiding light and a true leader. Good luck in your next chapter! You’ll be missed!

– Nick D’Addio, 131 TESS


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Kathryn, thank you so much for all the support you have provided us PCVs serving in Thailand. During a time where I was really struggling in my service, you came to my community on a site visit. After your visit I was able to see beautiful connections and experiences I had made in my community and closed out my service in a positive light and look back on it with great memories. Thank you again and I’m sending you my best wishes in your next steps.

– Kyle Kvamme, 129 YinD

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Kathryn Goldman Limericks
By Anna McGillicuddy, 129 YinD
————
There once was a woman named Kathryn
Who approached her job with great passion
She listened to us moan, and helped us all grow,
And never even asked for an aspirin.
————
We joined all sparkly and golden
Soon roughed up from mud that we rolled in
Then a hand reached out, and picked us up,
Our angel Miss Kathryn Goldman.
————-
We wonder how we could repay you
Maybe with a big ‘Kathryn Goldman’ tattoo
But you may prefer some ink on a page
So from the bottom of our hearts, “Thank You!”


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Kathryn! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all the time and work you put into helping PC Thailand be the best it can be! One of my favorite site visit memories with you is when my students asked me if you were real life Barbie. To which I replied: “Of course!” Just kidding! Seriously though, you always brought a much-needed laugh and a bright smile to any situation. As you embark on this next adventure in your life, I wish you all the best. Thank you again for making my service one to remember.

– Erika Enriquez, 127 TCCS

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Khun Kathryn na ka (insert my kneeling swan dive wai/curtsy) I just wanted to thank you for making my service so memorable. If it wasn’t for your support, we would never have been able to pull off GLOW/BROS in all four regions my second year of service, and you were especially helpful to our GAD committee. I will always remember you coming to my site, laughing with my yai and getting to know me, all while the dog Ting Ting was running around my house. Good luck in the next step of your career/life, and never forget you wil always be our beloved KHUN KAREN!!!

Aloha,

– Janelle Funtanilla a.k.a. Princess of Phayao, 127 YinD


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Khun Kathryn! Thank you so much for always making time for my overexcited, long-winded rambling on whatever the day’s topic of interest was. Thank you for always being a resource, a source of good-humor, and someone I always feel comfortable reaching out to. Peace Corps Thailand won’t be the same without you, and I feel so fortunate to have gotten to spend the last 2.5 years under your supervision. I hope we can stay in touch!All the best and infinite gratitude.

– Natalie Garro, 129 TCCS

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Kathryn, your laugh, your steady demeanor, your kind eyes, your thoughtful speech, your astounding intelligence and wisdom, your relatability, your matter-of-fact manner, your humility, your willingness to give us your time and share all of these amazing qualities with us…. these are the things I will miss the most about you. I have so much love and respect for you. Good luck in the next chapter of your beautiful story.

– Halli Benson, 130 TESS

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Kathryn, Kathryn, its a long and winding road. It’s a never ending story. All that glitters isn’t gold. It’s a bittersweet symphony. Every rose has its thorn. You’ll never walk alone. See that window that’s opened when the door behind you closed? There are two sets of footprints in the sand…you can do hard things. Sometimes, doing nothing is the hardest. You commended me for doing or rather not doing that at the end of PST. I’d like to thank you simply for being you; no matter how not simple that may be for you at times. Your impact, positivity, and easily-approachable-idgaf but I really do and you should too-manner won’t be forgotten. May your star shine bright as you take your next steps in an already remarkable life. Cheers to you and all the best!

– Bryan Newruck, 130 YinD

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Kathryn, thank you for all of the help that you’ve given to me and others over the past years. Through PST, two site changes, and a third year, you’ve been a pillar of support and a face that I’m always glad to see. I will wholeheartedly miss seeing you at the office. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me and Peace Corps Thailand.

– Chandler Smith, 129 TESS

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I feel fortunate to have come to Thailand just in the nick of time to have Kathryn Goldman as our DPT. I appreciate Kathryn so much for being approachable and down-to-earth. She never sugar-coated the realities of service, but was never negative. She was frank, but not jaded; realistic, but not pessimistic; open to hearing our worries, but never seeming to doubt that we can do this. As a “development veteran,” she could have easily downplayed our concerns, but she always treated us with respect. Thank you for inspiring me with the confidence to face the multi-faceted challenges involved in this uncommon pursuit.

– Megan McNelis, 131 TESS

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Kathryn was a huge support during my time in Thailand. When I struggled, she gave excellent advice. When I gave suggestions of ways to address the unique issues of minority volunteers, she was open to my feedback and strove to increase the level of inclusivity in PC Thailand training. I am truly grateful for her leadership and friendship during my time in Thailand.

– Michele Lackey, 128 YinD


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Dear Khun Kathryn,

Thank you so much for being the best DPT ever. I’m pretty sure we all loved you from the start. You’ve always been real with us, taken our phone calls, been there for us, and never shied away from giving us your honest advice. Also I loooove your Peace Corps Kongo stories. You will be truly missed. Best of luck on your next adventure, and see you again in D.C. for coffee. Love you.

– Larissa Delgado, 130 YinD

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Dear Khun Kathryn,

Thank you for being an example of a true friend to Thailand, the US, and us volunteers. Thank you for always advocating for us and always keeping it real. Your tidbits of wisdom on how to navigate the unique journey that is Peace Corps as well as your stories of your time in Togo was much appreciated. You will be greatly missed, but the inspiration you put forth will continue through all of us. Congrats to a grand new journey! Please invite me to your Thai parties back in the States!

– Alix Metanat, 130 YinD


IMG_5691Your laugh welcomed me into Thailand and your willingness to indulge me kept me motivated. If you would ever like to return to my village and visit every community member again just let me know. This journey would have been so different without you. My students have benefited from the wisdom and guidance you’ve continuously imparted on me and for that, I am forever grateful.

– Michael Marano, 129 TESS

Kathryn, thank you so much for all your advice, humor, and just general down to earth personality. I’ve had some amazing conversations with you and have never not once felt heard. It’s been a privilege being able to be a PCV under your tenure. I will miss you greatly and look forward to getting lunch or dinner with you in D.C. one day.

– Yaneth Peña, 130 YinD


KG
– Bob Sykora, 128 TCCS

Kathryn, as you prepare for the next chapter of your life, I want to not only wish you the joy and happiness, but also thank you for the difference you have made in so many people’s lives.

For PCVs… you’ve provided encouragement, coaching, and mentoring to help us be successful.

For PC staff… you’ve given support while removing obstacles so they could be their best selves.

For the underserved youth of Thailand (and their families).. you’ve opened doors and windows to help them improve their lives.

For me personally… you’ve increased my confidence and encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Thanks for your leadership, your sense of humor, and your focus on moving forward. But most of all, thanks for being you.

May you and your family be safe and happy. May your lives be filled with love, peace, and joy. May beautiful memories of your time in Thailand make your hearts sing.

Take care and please stay in touch,

– Linda Smittle, 128 TCCS


KathrynWhen I think of Kathryn, I think of moments like these (picture above – Reconnect 2016). The endless amount of encouragement, support, and guidance she has given to volunteers and the PC Thai family is irreplaceable. My Peace Corps experience wouldn’t have been the same without Kathryn and I’m forever grateful for her refreshing perspectives during the ups and downs of PCV life and even more so her giving heart. Wishing you all the best Kathryn – thank you for being the inspiring individual you are.

– Josh Kaufmann, 128 YinD


Kathryn Goldman is the shit. She understands life and human happenings. She takes care of us and encourages us in our everyday endeavors. I honestly hope to be somewhat like her someday; aware, kind, as you can be, and present. She’s a modern day angel, as they come… a caregiver if I’ve ever seen one…!

Thank You, Kathryn, for all you’ve done for Peace Corps Thailand.

– Liesl Schultz, 131 YinD


– Chukwuma Osuji, 131 YinD


Kathryn, thank you for your steadfast support of volunteers, and for always offering up advice to those of us looking for a purpose in this world. Peace Corps Thailand will not be the same without you!

– Nicholas Evans, 130 YinD


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Just want to say thank you Kathryn for all you have done for me and for all of the other volunteers. Words can’t express the impact you have made on our service by helping prepare us and by being a constant kind and warm presence in the office. The 127s and I miss you and appreciate you, and I am certain that you will also be missed dearly by everyone back in Thailand! Take care and if you’re ever in San Francisco, drop me a line!

Best,

– Pete Vinotai, 127 TCCS


Khun Kathryn,

It has been a great pleasure to be inspired by you.

I very much appreciate your mentorship and all that you have shared.

Thank you for allowing us to come to you as human beings.

I am forever grateful for the safe spaces you created for volunteers.

You will truly be missed.

I am so excited for you and your family’s next adventure,

And I look forward to keeping in touch.

See you again next time in D.C.

– Andrea Aribe, 130 YinD


– Group 130

Kathryn Goldman, thank you for all your words of wisdom, kindness, and appreciation. Check out Kathryn’s article, Gifts From Thailand.

1 reply »

  1. Kathryn, I love reading through everyone’s comments. Tim and I have been talking about you these last few days as we have been reading your good-bye messages. I think the work you have done in Thailand for PC is so multi faceted – your strengths and talents clearly have benefitted both Thais and Americans. Your creativity, experiences, thoughtful insights and articulation of hard concepts and difficult conversations made you an incredible asset for PC. Congratulations on a job well done and having made an impact on so many people. Good luck on your transition back into US culture and we wish you and your family only the best. Perhaps our paths will cross when we return to visit DC. Thank you! -Kate Van Slyck TESS 131

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