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Moments with Friends

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Katya, YES Abroad 2019-20, Thailand

Near the final months in Thailand, I found myself reflecting on the relationships I made this year. Some of the best relationships I’ve made this year have been with my current classmates and friends. I remember celebrating my host school’s anniversary with a big fair. Each class was selling food, and each department had a station with games. I helped with the English competition, while my friends helped with other games. After lunch, most of the activities were over and I met up with my friends at their booth to help clean up. Once the booth was all cleaned up, we headed to our classroom to relax and chat. As the end of the day approached, most of my friends slowly started leaving. In the end, only a few people were left and we started singing songs together. My friend and I sang at the top of our lungs. I even was able to sing along to a popular Thai song, even if it was just the chorus. As the school day came to a close, I felt my heart swell in pure happiness. In this small moment, where it was just me and my friends, as my throat grew sore from singing along, I felt a true sense of belonging.

Even though I hadn’t yet mastered the Thai language, or learned all the nuances of the culture, my friends have been a highlight of my program! They have taught me about Thai culture, and I have learned more about myself by interacting with them. I will be forever grateful to my friends for taking me in and treating me as if I was there all along.