13

March

Student Spotlights

Thrival Academy: Oakland Thrival Academy: Indy
Adriana Valencia

Age: 17

Current Grade: 11

What do you miss most about home? My family. I’ve never really been away from home for more than two days. Being away for three months is really hard because I’ve never really been away from my little brother or my mom.

What are you enjoying most about being in Thailand? Just being able to talk to my friends a lot more and hang out with them. It’s pretty cool.

Personal Highlight from this week:  Going to the cave. I really enjoyed when I went in it was really dark. I could see bats on the ceiling, and I had never seen bats before. And seeing rocks shaped like elephants was cool. You had to use your imagination to see the animal shapes.

Abigail Mendoza

Age: 17

Current Grade: 11

What do you miss most about home? My cat. My last homestay had cats, and I was like, “I miss my cat because these cats don’t like me!” And I miss my sister.

What are you enjoying most about being in Thailand? I like seeing new places. We see a lot of things with a lot of history behind it. We do things we don’t usually do in Indy. I had never really been hiking before. I got to bathe an elephant, and it sprayed water all over me, Ms. Esteves, Alondra, and Mariela.

Personal Highlight from this week: With my homestay family, our mom had a notebook with English phrases in it. It was sweet. She was one of the sweetest moms here. Alondra was my roommate. We lived right next Dion and Joseline, so it was the four of us the whole time. It was fun.

 

 

Staff Spotlight

Rustic Pathways
Peera Songkünnatham

Position: Program Leader

Where are you originally from? I am from Sisaket. North-eastern Thailand.

What do you miss most about home? I miss being domestic. I miss having a boring routine of self care, cleaning the space, getting food, and making food. It’s very different from our peripatetic life with Thrival.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy learning over and over again  that teenagers are good people. I like this very much because previously I found teenagers very unapproachable. People say that the teenage years are critical juncture in life, where you can grow to be bad or good. But all I see if good. Teenagers have a sincere desire to be good.

Personal Highlight from this week: Working throughout the difficulties and group dynamics during the homestay. It was a highlight because when students were feeling heavy emotions and the vibe of the group was off I could’ve done nothing, but I chose to do something. I addressed it. It was worthwhile because everyone got to talk it out and it uplifted everyone’s spirit’s back up. I felt like an adult.