Summer Happenings: In Brief

Of course as I promise myself to write and blog more, I get incredibly busy.

Since I last posted, my parents, my sister and family friends visited. Not only did I get to share this crazy country with them but I got to see more of Mongolia then I have my entire time here. There will be a blog post dedicated to traveling in this country, which is a hoot and a half, just saying. The trip included multiple days of long meeker rides through the valleys between Ulliastai and Moron, and I got to see multiple lakes and beautiful sites. After that, we flew back out to UB where we went to Terelj, a national park just outside of UB and got to stay in a great ger camp and explored the sites. Most of the sites being rocks that look like things. After the family left Mongolia I got a little respite from being tour guide by staying in a hostel with other Peace Corps Volunteers whose two years were up and on their way out. As they head out to travel and effectively peace out of this country, it made me realize that this upcoming year is going to go by incredibly quickly, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to do.

Finally I nabbed a couple of other volunteers to come back with me to site to help me out with a day camp this past week. While the camp has had an inauspicious start, it is a good time to relax and do some chill activities with the few kids who have shown up. I have found that it is better to bode on the learning experiences that can be obtained from less then ideal circumstances, then just having a bad time through out. Its also good to have guinea pigs to test some new activities out on as well . As it turns out, you CAN teach Mongolian kids how to throw a Frisbee.

In a couple weeks, I will head back out to the city in central Mongolia where Pre Service Training is happening and will start helping train the new trainees. It’s a large group but I have heard good things about their energy and attitude, so it will be nice to meet them in person. Before I know it, it will be site announcements and we will have some new volunteers in my part of the world, which is making me both incredibly anxious and excited. I have already had multiple stress dreams. As you do.

This will be a short update but – as per usual – I hope to write more and share some of my experiences in more detail. It has become very apparent to me, especially after hanging out with people who are new to Mongolia,  that in many ways “I have drunk the kool aid” . Things that are were nonsensical, now make complete sense. Things that were once inconvenient, are now just normal. Things that were once crazy, are now commonplace. Don’t get me wrong, I am still surprised on a daily basis. Yet, It strikes me how comfortable I am living and traveling here now, in comparison to when I got off the plane a year ago.

With that, I will leave you with another Mongolian quote, which I find relevant to family visiting and being able to travel:

Аавын буйд хүнтэй танилц
Агтны буйд газар үз.
While father is strong, children should get to know people
While horse is strong, children should travel to see places.

As always, in the spirit of adventure! – V.

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