An Expression of Gratitude for Peace Corps Soulmates

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Jacquie Sarkisian is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Magdalena, Colombia.

Throughout my life, having lived in different countries since I was 11 years old, I have been fortunate enough to have encountered many friendships along the way. This is dedicated to two friends I made during my Peace Corps journey.

Yessenia Lazaro

This writing is only a small token of the love and appreciation I have for her.

This energetic, amazing friend is my Peace Corps soulmate, a friend whom I consider like family away from my own, in a home away from home. Yessi has become one of the most important people in my life. We immediately connected like I had known her for years. As time has passed, our relationship changed from site mates to PCV’s supporting each other, to-despite our age differences- best friends. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t talk in one way or another. Yessi has been with me since she arrived to our site, and we have drawn closer together with each day. We celebrate each other’s victories and mourn each other’s losses.

Yessi, I am so honored by your friendship. I feel you have truly made me a better person and I hope I have done the same with you. I am going to miss you constantly when I leave but I’m so proud of your daily accomplishments.

Thank you for being there when you didn’t have to, for supporting me when you weren’t obligated to, for building a new life with me during our service.

Thank you for embarking on a new journey with me and for reassuring me that it doesn’t matter how long we’ve known each other or our differences coming from different distinct cultures, all that matters is how genuinely we love and care about each other.

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Gracias for all the new memories you made with me.

Merci for making the journey a little less lonely, for walking the same path with me,  not because you had to, but because you genuinely wanted to.

Thank you for making the road easier, the music and lyrics understandable, the darkness lighter and the bumps smoother.

You reminded me how to let someone in again, how to call someone a friend even if we haven’t been in each other’s lives for that long.

You reminded me of how good friendships start and how you get that feeling in your heart that it will last and last.

You reminded me that it is never too late to make a new friend.

You reminded me that some people come into our lives to make it better, to teach us something, to show us what we were missing and to remind us that sometimes people can hear us when we don’t say a word and they can understand us more than people we’ve known for years.

So I appreciate you for being in my life this year and I’m sure you will be there for years to come. The truth is the friends we meet later in life are our friends by choice; they weren’t put in the same class in school, and our parents weren’t best friends who forced us to become friends.

We come from different backgrounds, two different eras, yet we are so close; we chose each other, we chose to be more than PC site mates. We chose to be closer, we chose to travel together, we chose to support each other through hard times and celebrate with each other the good times. Our friendship was a choice, and out of all the choices I made this year, you’re my favorite one, Yessi!

Thank you for being in my life. I know we’ll continue to dismantle the universe together throughout our lives. Here’s to many more years to come and many more memories to make.

Angell Kim

You are my sunshine on the rare cloudy days.

Thank you for making so many ordinary moments extraordinary.

Thank you for always giving me the extra push I need, for believing in me even when I don’t, for making me laugh from the core of my belly, for making my half- hearted attempts more whole hearted through inspiring and motivating me.

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Thank you for the compliments, Angell, for thanking a hundred times even for the smallest gestures or even when I offer you simple cup of green tea. You truly are the almond butter to my jelly sandwich.

Thank you for supporting my decisions even when they didn’t  make sense, and then convincing me to choose what was the best for me.

Thank you for facing problems with me just so I don’t have to go through them alone.

Thank you for believing in me, Angell; it’s amazing how far I’m willing to go, when I know you believe in me.

Thank you for simply enjoying my company, even though we might sit in the same room for hours, doing our work.

The best kind of friendships are felt, without words or expressions.

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