I Am Most Thankful For…

Happy Thanksgiving! Today, a few 130 and 131 PCVs reflect on what they are most thankful for…


I am thankful for the magic that is chaos. I am thankful for all these humans- the tiny ones, the medium ones, and the fully grown ones that have molded this era of my life.

Poonam Benakatti, 130 YinD

I am most thankful for mosquito zappers, passion fruit, students who think I’m cool for no reason, my fan, my mom, and friends who hold me up while I figure out how to do it myself.

Natalie Heinitz, 131 YinD

I am most thankful for the high fives each morning, the vegetarian lunches each afternoon, the gorgeous sunsets, and someone to share it all with each night.

Gabe Reid, 130 TESS

I am the most thankful for all the smiles that greet me as I buy fruit in the market, visit my neighbors, and see my students. A smile is a universal gesture. It warms me and brings me joy on this first thanksgiving abroad.

Emmanuel Vega Arreola, 131 YinD


I’m beyond thankful for my students. They lift me up every single day no matter what. Their smiles, enthusiasm and questions as to why I can’t stay in Thailand forever has me feeling all the love. The way they light up when they ask me to watch their new KPOP dance routine. Or when I review all their worksheets from the day and “I love you Teacher” is written on almost all of them. I feel like I belong, even if I am halfway around the globe.

Bianca Henao, 131 TESS


I’m beyond thankful for the two new families that I’ve acquired here in Thailand. They have both provided me unconditional love and support on this journey, and I will miss them very much when I’m gone!

Nicholas Evans, 130 YinD

I am most thankful to be surrounded by people who inspire me to do more, see more, and be more. Everything more that I do with my life will be dedicated to all of you, Group 130. ❤

Andrea Aribe, 130 YinD

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for family. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many variations of it in my life. I have a family in the friends I’ve made here who have been my rocks throughout this whole experience. My host family and a love that goes beyond blood. And, of course, for the lovely group of strangers who became a found family — my cohort: Dirty 130. And finally, to my family back home. My mom, dad, brother and all the extended family that has called and supported me while I’ve been here and all my best friends who have found ways to still keep me tethered. I love all of you so much. I am so privileged and honored to know you all. Thank you for loving me.

Yaneth “Janet” Pena, 130 YinD

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