Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Readjustment: Redux

Hey everyone,

I'm settled in okay in Ohio. Grad school is going fine, but it is not for me, so I won't be going back next semester. I just got a call back from a tutoring center here in Toledo and might be getting a part-time job there, and I've got some applications floating in the education sphere for full-time gigs.

So I guess that's it. I'm "readjusted." Of course, I still sometimes want to speak Mongolian at inappropriate times and to people who won't understand a thing I say (or even acknowledge it as a real language). I miss the mountains that I could see from my window every morning and I miss walking to several little stores everyday for my groceries. I miss my friends and my school and my job, but I'm happy to be back and I'm getting to that good place where I can see myself continuing here (most of the time).

Since this blog was dedicated to my life in Mongolia and my time in the Peace Corps. I think it's time to shut it down. Maybe I'll start a more general blog some other time, but since I did such a poor job updating this one, that's probably not likely.

For those of you reading this who are considering the Peace Corps, I want you to know that I loved my service. I know I posted mostly about bad things on here, but that is for entertainment value. No one wants to read about the sappy happy times, that's why the movies always end with the marriage and don't follow the blissful honeymoon.
My school was wonderful, all the teachers were friendly, helpful and full of good-humor. When I was couldn't understand them, they kept trying. When I was tired or sick, they were understanding and concerned. I met some wonderful people and have a whole new family half a world away. Peace Corps was a life changing experience that has left me a child of two worlds. While I was gone, I missed my mother, sister, brother, apartment, climate and grocery stores; now that I'm back, I miss my students, my "goe" boots, my "bagsh," my foreigner's free pass, and my friends. I even miss the climate sometimes (constant sunshine is really nice...even in freezing temperatures). I missed out on the birth of my nephew while I was gone, but now I'm missing the milestones and accomplishments of all my Mongolian friends and families. My village connected to Facebook after I left, so I'm 'friends' with many of my students and teachers. So I see the pictures of the parties and the events and the fun, and regret not being a part of it anymore.
That's what Peace Corps does. It brings you great happiness and great friends. If you're considering joining, know yourself. Know how much you're willing to miss while you're away; realize that life will go on without you and that you'll probably lose contact with a lot of your weaker connections; you'll be lost in a lot of conversations and you'll be incapable of explaining a lot of your stories; you'll feel lost in this crazy country of flushable toilet paper and central heating, because whether you love or hate your host country, you'll be come accustomed to it; you'll learn to be alone a lot...and you will learn to love or hate that solitude.
Whether you join or not, best of luck to anyone reading this. Do your best to live without regrets.