the 21st

by jeannabauer

Today marks 2 months since leaving Minnesota. Everyday from here on out is the longest I’ve lived internationally (!!).

Last July – on one of those nasty, humid, Minnesota summer days – I sat down to dinner with a volunteer, a staff member & the founders of Partners. Fast forward 8 months & here I am – reconnected with them on a hazy, hot day in Chiang Mai.


It was such a pleasure meeting you this week. PahTi Marner bringing you into my office was a timely blessing that I didn’t see coming, but truly needed.

It was probably very, very clear how much I love KOM. Being able to share the story of our history, programming, staff and community was an honor for me. That being said, this season has been a challenging one, knowing that my time with the St. Paul Karen community and KOM family could be coming to an end. Often, I turn to daydreams of Thailand when the fear of ‘what’s next’ becomes over-powering, but during those daydreams I’m an outsider looking in at work being done. Limited by fear and logistics I’ve been unable to ‘see myself’ there, no matter how strong the emotional pull. Then, you were put in front of my desk and made it all seem possible. Thoughts of moving to Thailand and little excited stomach butterflies have officially meshed, and in my experience – that’s a good thing. Thank you so much (even if it was unknowing) for being the push to make my dreams feel like a tangible reality.

I sincerely feel that you too have found yourself in a place where you’re needed. I hope that your time at KOM was a positive step in the right direction for all your efforts. We don’t have all the answers either, but I do hope we were able to help you out with a few.

Safe travels.