How Did I Get Here?

Currently listening to “Odesza – How Did I Get Here

I thought the song fitting since today marked the end of my Peace Corps Training, and I find myself asking “How Did I Get Here?”

10 Weeks have passed. 67 Days since I landed in Thailand. 9 Weeks of thorough training. 1.5 Weeks of Administrative etcetera. Countless adventures, bike rides, strange meals, warm days without a/c, creatures in the bathroom, squat toilets, friends and more.

Monday we swear in and move from Peace Corps Trainees to official Peace Corps Volunteers. I got my official Peace Corps Shirt today. Monday we commit to the 2 years of service we signed up for. Officially. Wednesday I move down to Trang in the deep south of Thailand. My Thai teacher/counterpart will join me for a 3 day Counterpart Conference and then drive me down.

So, How Did I Get Here? To this place where I feel finally ready to teach English (having no teaching background)?
How Did I Get Here? To this space where I now have good friends from all over America who are like-minded and wonderful human beings that I will forever be connected to?
How Did I Get Here? To this place in my heart where I have a second Thai Family that I’m going to miss beyond measure once I leave them on Sunday?

I got here because there are beautiful, wonderful, amazingly genuine and good hearted people in this world. The Peace Corps Staff and training program is amazing. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know so many wonderful people in Peace Corps who do this not for the money or for any personal gain, but for the greater good. For wanting to help provide the youth of Thailand a better education and life skills.

I got here because 63(ish) other crazy, wonderful, like-minded individuals decided to put their cushy lives on hold in America to join this cause for the greater good. I started PST with a bunch of strangers and today I ended it with my best friends. My brothers and sisters, my new Peace Corps Family. I know that my life will forever be changed because of these people and I’m so grateful for them.
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I got here because family doesn’t mean you’re related by blood. My host mom opened up her home for me, fed me 3 meals a day, took me to many beautiful temples and markets every Sunday, all out of the goodness of her heart. The past week she has told me many times that she will miss me. And oh, how I will miss her. The first day we met she was adamant on holding my hand. I thought it a bit strange, since I did not know her. Knowing her now, and the people of Thailand, I realize how normal that was. Love is a universal language.

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Gosh, the feels are real right now. How is it already March? I started PST feeling so nervous and awkward and am leaving for my new site so fulfilled and grateful for the chance to serve. I won’t lie, I am a bit nervous. But I was nervous moving to Thailand, then I got comfortable in the hotel we first stayed at. I was nervous moving to my Host Mom’s house, now I know I will have a forever home in Singburi. So I know that soon I will be more than comfortable in Trang. I am so excited to make it my home for the next two years. I’m so ready for this adventure!

Thank you to all of Peace Corps for this opportunity. Thank you to my fellow volunteers, (soon to be) new, current and past, for showing me the way/helping me along the way/being part of my new PC Family. Thank you to my parents for helping me get through the application process and making it here. Thank you to my friends and family for supporting my decision. Thank you to my amazing boyfriend for being supportive and encouraging me to keep going. I couldn’t do this without any of you.
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Here’s to the next 2 years!

Peace, Love & Thai
-Ang

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