I read a lot of blog posts about Peace Corps volunteers serving abroad, and at the beginning of the summer when I left for Mongolia I felt like everyone had something to say about the severity and the overall extremeness of the journey they’re about to undertake. I’d like to think that everyday anywhere is sort of extreme by it’s own merit, though. Even if I were to be living in America, I’d be doing the same things. But maybe I’m a little more productive while I’m here.
But overall, Mongolia is a wonderful country. Absolutely wonderful. I’m still shocked by the kindness of strangers, the frankness of the language, and the food.
After being here for three months, I can safely assume and suggest that everyone is simply just human. We all bleed red. Mongolian or American. The differences are in the habits. The very, very foreign habits. Something that comes to mind is the way that Mongolians stand, sit, and relax very close to each other. Its a very unromantic touch, a touch that acknowledges that human beings crave it.
I was told where I would be moving to for the next two years about a week and a half ago, and I haven’t had a great opportunity to research much about it besides the information they gave me. In short, I’m in the most remote part of Mongolia. Out in the wild, wild west. I got here a few days ago and the way its laid out reminds me of a mountainous ski village in America. Mountains surround me from all corners, and snow is knee-high during the winter.
If you were to ask me about Mongolia, about a universal idea that I’ve taken away from this experience so far, I’d say that time is both precious and not. The way I spend my days here make up for all of the stress and busyness I had while living in California. I take the time. I linger. I’ve lost the ability to rush. And I love it.