Fourth Day at Site

I am bewildered at how to capture this experience. There is so much I want to explain/recount/share. I anticipate questions that you, my dear friends and family, may have—they were many of the questions that I had, or assumptions I’d made that I needed affirmed or not—but how do I know where to begin?

Since internet is not available in my soum (sort of village) of about 2300, I can’t possibly update you on everything as it unfolds. The best I can do right now is tell my story and let the details creep in around the edges.

Those who know me even a little probably know that I identify as a “city-girl.” How quickly that is changing! Suffice it to say, I am embracing the Mongolian culture, people, and way of life. And, according to one of our language teachers (Tomee), my Mongolian is really good! How happy that makes me after only 3 lessons!!!

It is amazing how people are able to communicate with so few words in common. We adapt by acting out, developing a sign language, using dictionaries and phrase books… and laughing a lot! Yesterday, my host-sister was struggling with the dictionary and phrase book, so she wrote me a note to communicate exactly what she wanted to say. Unfortunately, I couldn’t read the cursive writing! I had to ask her “please re-write it in the printed letters” using my homework to get the message across. Then, I used the dictionary to translate what she wrote.

Of course, the situations have been pretty basic and we have been intentionally surrounded by those who want us to succeed. It remains to be seen how we do when we get to our permanent sites at the end of August. Then, there will likely be fewer Americans with whom to socialize and compare host-family stories. Of the 10 of us here, 7 of us went on a hike yesterday—our first “day off” since leaving the US. The views are incredible here!

Maybe there isn’t much in the way of information in this post, but hopefully my enthusiasm is coming through.

8 Responses to Fourth Day at Site

  1. Tricia says:

    I’m sure I speak for many when I say that reading a post from you is enough. As you say, the details will creep in around the edges. 🙂 Enjoy!

  2. Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

    Love hearing from you Love, all and every word from you is a gift and paints a picture, however big or small. So great to hear you went on a hike, something you’ve done so much here! Maybe next we’ll hear about you watching the sunset on a beach and camping out under the stars. I’m not surprised your Mongolian is so good so fast, you do have a knack for languages. Love you!

  3. Maryse says:

    I hope that even without the Internet you are writing in a journal. I love how you write.

  4. Kathy P. Willis says:

    So good just to hear from you & know you are safe & things are going well. Every snippet we get is SO appreciated. Much love, ~Auntie~

  5. Suzanne says:

    Love, great to hear from you. I was going to suggest exactly what Maryse did…and add that you should save even the little things, like candy wrappers and restaurant receipts and glue them into your journal. You’ll be surprised at the memories they bring back years later!

  6. You made it! So excited to read about it all. Sending you all the best wishes. -Jean

  7. Rachel Wood says:

    aunty loveyy i miss you we went to a sox game the other day and played in the water fountain .. and we just thought about you alot…. ill be sending u pics of me graduating and my prom photos i love you soo much its weird too know that your gone and i cant take the T too see u anytime i want i shouldve taken more advantage of you being here when you were because i miss you terribly.. im going to college asap i want too show you some accomplishments when you return from mongolia i love you aunty

  8. Crystal says:

    Will your permanent site be a smaller soum?

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