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Group 131 Yearbook: Words of Appreciation

Counterparts and Community of Group 131

Every year, during the first few months of service, Peace Corps staff visit the new group of Peace Corps Volunteers at their sites to see how they are adjusting and to meet their schools and communities. This year they took pictures of all of the volunteers and asked someone in their community to share a few words of appreciation.


He is so friendly. He is not afraid when he says something wrong in Thai, and I like that. It shows me that it is ok to say something wrong in English too. He is also not afraid to ask for my opinions, which is great because we can talk things through and I feel like he trusts me. It is important to work together. And for me, to keep it short, he is perfect.

Alejandro Grimaldi, YinD

Alejandro Grimaldi, YinD

Alex is always smiling and energetic. We feel so fortunate to have her here. Although we hosted a PCV before, she has brought a different energy and new set of skills to our SAO. We love working with her.

Alexandra Wright, YinD

Alexandra Wright, YinD

Teacher Ali has a very beautiful smile. She joined and participated in all activities like the other teachers. We are very grateful to have an American teacher as well as a friend at the same time. We could see that Teacher Ali really loves dancing and exercising which made us even closer.

Alison Reenock, TESS

Alison Reenock, TESS

Bianca “Narak Mark” is funny person and fun to work with and is full of energy every day. We all like her and she is a good match with all of us in the school. She is an easy person and an out-going person. We are all happy to have her in our school and our community.

Bianca Henao, TESS

Bianca Henao, TESS

Betsy is super active. I’m working hard to catch up with her. She’s a hard worker. During Bpit term we had a camp at our school and it was so much fun. Kids loved and enjoying and it’s a good start for them. It only goes to show how wonderful she is. The school is very happy to have such a great volunteer.

Betsy Bruce, TESS

Betsy Bruce, TESS

Nam Wan is sweet, well mannered, easy going and approachable. She gets along well with people at work and in the community. She is a hard worker and always seeks any opportunities to integrate with community events. She always greets people. Everyone loves Nam Wan.

Caitlin Navratil, YinD

Caitlin Navratil, YinD

Liesl is “Geng Maak.” She is very nice, friendly and a funny person and we all like her especially with her big smile and we have a lot of fun working together. She is very helpful and positive. We don’t have any problem working with her and “Love You Jubjub!

Liesl Schultz, YinD

Liesl Schultz, YinD

Every day, Mckenna comes to work with full energy. We all care about her biking distance because she bikes to seven schools for days and she is still full up with energy. We all love her and we are lucky to have her here. She always says yes to everyone and she is kind and lovely and takes care of herself very well. She is the strong lady in town because she doing her “Jogging Sport” every day.

McKenna Meehan, YinD

McKenna Meehan, YinD

Chuma keeps a big smile on his face all the time. It’s very charming and it made everyone feel at ease when talking or working with him. Chuma is very humble and shows great respect to everybody. I wonder where did he learn all these great skills? He is a great role model in our community.

Chukwuma Osuji, YinD

Chukwuma Osuji, YinD

Natalie is very “Rieb Roi and Grengjai and Mee Numjai”. When we offer her some food or would like to help her at work she always says “Mai Pen Rai Ka”. Everyone likes her and she is easy to work with. We don’t have any problems working with her. We also learned good teaching and activity techniques from her and we want her to stay with us more than 2 years.

Natalie Heinitz, YinD

Natalie Heinitz, YinD

Even though it was challenging at first because I have never worked with a PCV before, now I am getting to know him more and more and it makes things a lot easier. Actually he makes it easier too. I am glad that we can be open with each other. He has good observation skills and he cares for people around him. Now, I think I understand how to work with him better. Su-Su. No matter what happens, stay positive. Everything is possible.

Logan Cox, YinD

Logan Cox, YinD

Mali is the example of a great volunteer. She always integrates with people. She makes people around her happy. We are so fortunate to have such a hard-working and good- hearted volunteer in our community. We want her to stay here forever.

Mariama Bah, YinD

Mariama Bah, YinD

I admire her volunteer spirit. D never says “no” when we invite her to join the community events, even though sometimes it happens on the weekend. She is willing to be present and help out as much as she can.

Danae Bell, YinD

Danae Bell, YinD

Please tell Maria that her voice is important to us and we want her to take care so she can work with the students. 🙂 Whenever she goes to teach at the school, we all miss her in the office so much. She is a star among all of us. Maria is getting along with everyone. Please tell her that we LOVE her.

Maria Flores, YinD

Maria Flores, YinD

I have to give her 5 stars. She got along well with the teachers, always goes out and about and travels and eats together with them. Having her here, kids are a lot more interested in the classroom and really wanted to learn English. I think they will be able to speak so much and I’m so proud.

Desiree Brown, TESS

Desiree Brown, TESS

Emily is wonderful and she works really hard. She always strives to be a great teacher and we have learned so many activities from her. I can already see the changes in the student’s motivation and how they wanted to use English to interact with her. The teachers here who are not English teachers are learning from her so much as well.

Emily Maginnis, TESS

Emily Maginnis, TESS

Nan is sweet, polite and very riap-roi. He gets along well with people. The students in all the schools feel more confident in speaking English. He can eat anything except bplaa-raa.

Emmanuel Vega Arreola, YinD

Emmanuel Vega Arreola, YinD

Katie is awesome. She can communicate in Thai very well. We are really impressed. She is super friendly. Katie always smiles and greets people in community. She is well loved and accepted by people who have gotten to know her. We learned a lot from her especially how to plan and organize professionally.

Katie Bassett, YinD

Katie Bassett, YinD

Leslie is very punctual and good at planning. She is willing to try and taste anything we ask her to. Her host mom loves her as if her own daughter. We are very happy to have her here. All 4 schools are grateful to have Leslie teaching at their schools. Many people told us how lucky we are and wanted to know how they can apply for a PCV like Leslie.

Leslie Santos, YinD

Leslie Santos, YinD

He smiles a lot just like Thais. He is “riap-roi” and so friendly that our students are not afraid to approach him. He is just a volunteer, not a teacher, but he works very hard for all the schools in the community. I wonder if I were him, how I could work like him.

Eric Warshawsky, YinD

Eric Warshawsky, YinD

She is sweet and nice. Whenever we see her, she also smiles. She makes people around her feel very comfortable. We have learned a lot from her, especially class activities and teaching techniques. The students now are not afraid to speak English and we can’t wait to see the result in the future.

Estefania Ortega, TESS

Estefania Ortega, TESS

Mali (Mabinty) smiles like Thai people. She shows her namjai like Thai people. She is our Dtambon presenter. We are so lucky to have her here and we appreciated her work and what she will be for our community.

Mabinty Bangura, YinD

Mabinty Bangura, YinD

She is so friendly that even the colleague who was afraid to talk to her at the beginning has now become a good friend of hers at the Tessaban. We are so lucky to have her here. She not only wants to work with the youth projects but also any community projects that our Tessaban asks her to do. She is willing to do them all. She has a lot of energy.

Felicia Wolf, YinD

Felicia Wolf, YinD

Haley is getting along with everyone. She knows so many people in the community. I am very impressed with her punctuality and how she is a good role model for other teachers. She has taken all her tasks seriously and shown a high level of responsibility. The students love her and their interest in studying English is now much higher. Haley is also a great team player. She has accepted all the tasks as the other Thai teachers do.

Haley Garrison, TESS

Haley Garrison, TESS

He is funny in his own special way and often makes people laugh, especially his Nayok, who I never saw laugh so often. Some jokes, we get. Some jokes, we don’t. However, we are impressed with his effort to adjust himself and make everyone around him happy.

Haotian Liyou, YinD

Haotian Liyou, YinD

Ian is “Mr. Chilli” as he can easily eat chilli like Thai people. Ian is very friendly and we think he is smart and it’s easy for him to adjust himself to the community. He willing to try and learn new things. We are happy and lucky to have him here with us. We would like to have more “Ians” working with us in our community.

Ian Tramm, YinD

Ian Tramm, YinD

He is fun to work with. He makes our team more cheerful. However, when he works, he plans things well and takes his work seriously. We are happy to have him here.

Ishmail Beene, YinD

Ishmail Beene, YinD

Joely is very adaptable. She lives and eats like what the locals do. She is very friendly and approachable. Everyone at work and in the community knows and loves her.

Joely Allen, YinD

Joely Allen, YinD

Yanis is now a member of our community. People here know who she is. They call her Teacher Yanis. She is super energetic and self- disciplined. She has dedicated herself to the program and kids. During Bit-term, she came to school and worked with her co-teachers on lesson planning, preparing teaching materials and conducting two English camps. She always creates new ideas and shares useful techniques with us. We are so grateful to have Yanis here. We have been waiting for almost two years since we submitted the application.

Ngoc Nguyen, TESS

Ngoc Nguyen, TESS

I’m so Happy, Happy and Happy that I have a Volunteer. I don’t know about other schools but she’s really good here. She is always early and she sets a good standard with the teachers. Kids love to come to her class and read. I think she’s a good role model.

Shannon Murphy, TESS

Shannon Murphy, TESS

Kru Kat is integrating well into the community and with her students. She is trying to listen to her students and speak to them. She has good teaching techniques to teach the student starting from a simple conversation with them.

Katarina Porter, TESS

Katarina Porter, TESS

Nick is very easy going and super friendly. Nick always says “WOW” to everything that he is asked to try or taste. Nick has great techniques to communicate and educate people. He truly shows his love and care to all students especially the special kids or slow learners.

Nicholas D'Addio, TESS

Nicholas D’Addio, TESS

He is a super Volunteer. He’s been so doing many things around here. I’m super impressed when he works with the community and carries heavy stuff for them without complaint. He works well with us and the students have a lot of fun and also the student teacher learned a lot from him.

Stephen Bubenheim, TESS

Stephen Bubenheim, TESS

He’s so adaptable. He’s adapted to everything here. He teaches the kids well. The students are sometimes naughty and he’s very kind. They enjoy learning English. The teachers at the school also accept him as part of the team and we got along really well. It is great for everyone.

Quentin Thomas, TESS

Quentin Thomas, TESS

Sierra is very active in class. Now the kids are very keen to learn English with her. We have shared ideas and we co-plan the classes together. We also love her music. Sierra is also very cheerful. She always smiles and greets people cheerfully.

Sierra Drummond, TESS

Sierra Drummond, TESS

You must have sent the best volunteer here. He is so great and very excited to be here and so are we. He is friendly and got along well with everyone. He is such a great learner and teacher and I learned many games. He speaks Karen really well. I have been here three years and his Karen language is already a lot stronger than mine.

Moises Puentes, TESS

Moises Puentes, TESS

Neil is amazing. He always joins all the events with the community and people love him. He’s super playful with the tessaban staff and that made him super friendly and we all got along well and have lots of fun with him. He is very easy going. He works well with the school and kids. We are so happy to have him here.

Neil Pickus, YinD

Neil Pickus, YinD

I would say that he exceeds our expectation. He might seem shy but he’s doing well with the people in the community, always saying hi and greeting them and he’s very active in the class. He works hard and he shares his artistic skill with us which is amazing. Matthayom students are now very motivated to use English more. Its exciting.

Noah Mitchelson, YinD

Noah Mitchelson, YinD

Georgia is super narak. She is always such a hard worker and we are happy to have her here. There are so many projects to do and she always says yes and shows her willingness to do it. We believe she will create a positive impact here especially with the youths in our community.

Georgia White, YinD

Georgia White, YinD

Mali is an easy person; she likes to do and think by herself, and she always ahead of time. She is a quiet person, but when we started to converse and we got to know each other, I found her to be very friendly and I think she is very smart. She just started working and teaching in school. She is accepted by the students and is well known as P Mali.  We are ready to learn from her and share knowledge together.

Luisa Escaler, YinD

Luisa Escaler, YinD

Beautiful but Heavy Punch” Megan is strong and firm both in classroom  and outside classroom. Muay Thai in not just for Thai only. Megan shows that she can do it. We all love her and we are very lucky to have her in our school. She is the teacher that we were looking for and the children needed to have a teacher like her.

Megan McNelis, TESS

Megan McNelis, TESS

I am happy to have Katherine here in my community. I can see that many people enjoy her presence, especially youth and the elderly. Many of them see her as their daughter. I feel like she is my daughter, too. We care for her and will take a good care of her. And I believe that she will be able to do something good for youth in our community also.

Katherine Gallagher, YinD

Katherine Gallagher, YinD

Sarah is sweet and kind. She is easy going and tries to integrate and blend in with people at the school. We feel very fortunate to have Sarah as we can see progress in our students. We can’t wait to see how much progress students will make in the next two years.

Sarah Achartz, TESS

Sarah Achartz, TESS

Rin makes us feel younger when we teach. She has a lot of energy in class. She makes lesson planning easy. And above of all, she always has a positive attitude. She believes in student’s potential even though some time we, Thai teachers, feel like giving up.

Sirintra Juntaralux, TESS

Sirintra Juntaralux, TESS

Everyone who gets to know Tiffany (kru som) asked us where did you find a super rieb-roi farang? Tiffany is a great planner. She is humble and shy but she did anything we asked her to do….It was very impressive, especially when she danced!

Tiffany Campbell, TESS

Tiffany Campbell, TESS

Tim is very independent. He will try to do many things on his own. When the school was flooded, Tim did not hestitate to pick up a broom and help others to clean up. He showed us that he is great at teamwork! I also learned good teaching techniques from Tim. He always looks for the students’ abilities.

Timothy Feng, TESS

Timothy Feng, TESS

Kru Malee is very easy going and adaptive. She is very confident and always smiles whenever people speak Thai to her. We know that her Thai is good, but she is very humble to say that she doesn’t speak Thai. Even though she is a vegetarian, she eats anything we prepare for her.

Melody Emplit, TESS

Melody Emplit, TESS

We are so fortunate to have Kevin. All students love kru Kevin. Kevin is riap-roy, friendly, smiley and approachable. He is very adaptive to a Thai living style. We know that he is a good cook, and a man who can cook is charming.

Kevin Lentz, YinD

Kevin Lentz, YinD

Tim is a hard worker. He is very committed to tasks he is responsible for. He is so strong and healthy – even more than Thai people who are his age. He is easy going and tries to live and eat like a Thai. He loves eating sticky rice very much.

Timothy Fontaine, YinD

Timothy Fontaine, YinD

“Miss Wai” is what we like to call her and we always make a joke with her, because she always Wai everyone. We love that and we are very lucky to have her here with us. Thanks to Veronica and thanks to TESS team for sending us the right person for our needs. She is the teacher that we were looking for.

Veronica King, TESS

Veronica King, TESS

Kru Kat’s always attend to the community festival and school events. She is trying to learn the local culture.

Katharine Van Slyck, TESS

Katharine Van Slyck, TESS

Kru Kat works very hard on work plan. She is very kind to explain to us. She is always listen to co-teacher’s feedbacks and opinions.

Katherine Landry, TESS

Katherine Landry, TESS


Read previous words of appreciation from counterparts of groups 130 and 129.

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