Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I would like to take a moment to specifically thank certain people in my life who have made my entry into Peace Corps possible. Nearly everyone in my life has been very supportive, so I know that I am going to miss some names. My apologies in advance if I miss you. Know that your support is very appreciated.

Brett Dayton - You were the first person I talked to about the Peace Corps. Your encouragement is a huge reason why I decided to go through with it. So if it ruins my life, I blame you first. Thank you for all of your prayers, words of encouragement, and for writing me a letter of recommendation. I love you and will miss you. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to hold your baby before I leave!

Bobby Blackwell - You procrastinating bastard! You had me so worried that I would not get all of my letters in on time. But you came through for me and got it in on time. Barely. And I know that you probably wrote a very glowing letter for me, so thank you!

Dr. Newman - You taught me how to manage people. Leadership is a natural trait, one that I reluctantly see in myself, but management is something that must be learned and practiced. You pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me grow. You also told me to choose a career that I am going to be passionate about. Thank you for everything you taught me and thank you for the letter of recommendation.

Mykel and Kim Pickens - You have given me your support in so many ways, not only in the last year but also throughout my life. I admire you as role models.You provided me with so much more than I ever expected. You lifted a lot of weight off of my shoulders. I love you guys. Thanks so much!

Jubal and Holly Schneider - My sister, always the voice of reason, you made sure that I thought all of this out before taking the plunge. The two of you have supported me financially beyond any point that I ever expected. Thanks for everything. I'm going to miss you and the kids a whole lot. See you on video chat!

Jason and Jennifer Pasimio - Your pride in me is almost palpable. Thanks for putting up with us for two weeks when we took over your house! I will miss you and the kids. I'm glad I got to hold Natalie before leaving! See you on video chat!

Grandpa Burnidge and Toni- Thank you for providing me with luggage! That was a total life saver. I appreciate it so much. I love you guys.

Mom and Dad - So I stayed at home a bit longer than I ever expected I would. Thanks for having me and supporting me. You've opened up a lot of possibilities in my life. I love you and I hope I make you proud.

Thank you to all of my friends and family, the AVBC College Crew, all of the ladies (and gentlemen) at Union Bank, everyone who came out to support me at my party, and anyone who has said a prayer or spoken words of encouragement to me. I love all of you guys and will try my best to keep in touch with everyone.


  1. Hey Michael,

    Don't know if you'll see this response due to your travel and so forth, but just wanted to say thank you for your kind words. I am completely blown away by God all the time by the way He moves and in particular, moves His people. First it began with Matt Melendez being called to Nepal and his response was one of obedience and if you talk with Matt, Jesus has definitely blessed this obedience with a maturation that is un-purchasable. I see nothing less for you. I think the first step has been your response to leave everything and to go to a place that many either don't care to go or aren't brave enough to go, including me. We will definitely miss you back home and all of your Nascar races in Apple Valley but I know we'll see each other soon. This only makes it that much more meaningful!

    Much love and appreciation,

  2. Michael, Kim and I are so proud of you. This is the first time I have read your blog and I know God is using you to change lives (including yours!) Let us know if you need anything!


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