It happened so suddenly. It seemed like within a 24 hour period that the brown buds on the trees turned an incandescent green, making everything look fresh and shiny. On my evening runs I get whiffs of sage as I run on the river plain that surrounds my section of town. I’ve team taught my last series of classes and now students are in the midst of exams. I can now wear one layer of pants and a breezy scarf with no symptoms of frost bite. There have been numerous graduation ceremonies, or “Bell Ceremonies” . Mongolia’s first class of 12th graders graduated with all the medals and aplomb I have come to know from all Mongolian ceremonies.
Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. And at the end of this week… I will have been here two years.
I can remember arriving like it was yesterday. Staying in a tourist ger that unknowingly contained some of the people who would be some of my greatest friends in Peace Corps. The scary talking to by some dude from the embassy, “If you’re a guy, and over 6 feet tall, you will get punched” he said in all seriousness. The bouncy ride to Darkhan. The anxious meeting with host families. Learning how to wash my hair in a bucket. Heck learning to do laundry in a bucket. Lets just say with those skills I will be able to return to a drought ridden California, no problem.
But that’s enough about the past… I’m still trying to figure out what the next couple months will bring.
Until a couple days ago I wasn’t even sure what I was going to be doing this summer. But as I pencil in my schedule I see that my last several months are going to be jam packed. There is an International Social Workers Conference that Peace Corps has invited volunteers to attend in Ulaan Baatar, so I get a week in the capital. Some of my cohort will even be presenting their own research, so that will be quite exciting. After, I go back to site for a teachers seminar that my sitemate organized, where I will be helping teach some ‘soft skills’ like planning and stress management. From there I get whisked off to participate in a camp in Bayan Uulgii, the westernmost aimag, home to a small Kazakh minority (2%) . If you’ve seen pictures of eagle hunters, that’s where those guys live. I will then have two weeks back at site to pack things up and say goodbyes to my Mongolian home.
So the countdown begins.
That being said, I should say that while I hope to keep blogging strong till the end, I’m not sure how well I can blog over the summer. I will try my best, but don’t worry if my weekly blog doesn’t occur… just be certain that Mongolia happened and will be happening. 🙂
Till something exciting happens – V.