So, my Mongolian sister just brought in this internet connection flash drive and told me to get my computer… not sure how frequently I’ll be able to use it but I will revel in this moment of technological comfort. Just as I was feeling settled in here, and so busy that I’m not really thinking about home to think whether I miss it, I read a comment from my niece Rachel that made my eyes well up. But, it was in the best way. My life here is good just as my life there was good. But they couldn’t be more different in the most basic ways. And that’s just fine.

A subset of our group went for a swim in the river today, alongside the horses. Then we stopped by one of our group’s host family’s and watched part of Alladin. This afternoon, I will wash my laundry by hand in my tumpun (my Mongol mom has been after me about this the past few days) and this evening, as most evenings although I don’t usually go, there will be soccer and basketball and volleyball at the field.

I think my connection is not strong enough for uploading pictures and I can’t do the landscape justice with words alone. I can tell you that Mongolia is known as “The Land of the Blue Sky” for a reason. The past 3 days have been sweltering, but not humid at all, so it’s tolerable. We have also had an unusual amount of rain (so we are told) in the 10 days we have been at site, but those were short-lived and once the storms passed, the blue skies returned.

postscript: I was able to upload some photos to facebook. You can see them here even without a facebook account.


12 Responses to Surprise!

  1. Robin says:

    So glad to hear from you Love! I look forward to your updates!

  2. Crystal says:

    Washing clothes by hand! What other major changes have you had to get used to? How are you adapting?

  3. Maryse says:

    Yay! The photos are awesome. Are you in that village temporarily or is this your home for the next couple of years?

  4. Priscilla A. Arenault says:

    “Soccer, basketball and volleyball most evenings” – You mention you don’t usually go but when you do, are you a spectator or a participant? The photos are fabulous, beautiful country! The written Mongolian language is so interesting looking! Love your posts, feel like you’re right here w/me, talking, telling me about your new life, makes me feel close to you.

  5. Kathy P. Willis says:

    Really great to hear from you so soon. Questions above are good … hope you’ll get a chance to answer. Do you have a washboard? Depending on how you can hang them, they should be okay to just fold & put away. ❤

  6. Aedin says:

    Hi Love, We are all missing you in DFCI. We had the departmental retreat and it wasn’t the same without your smiling face. But I am thrilled to hear you are getting on so well. Good luck with the clothes washing, at least there are less clothes in hot weather 😉

  7. eelevol says:

    So glad to hear from so many of you! It’s a cross-section of my life right above this 🙂
    The cultural adjustments don’t feel all that major. I don’t really mind hand-washing clothes, specifically, but I do miss plumbing (both the running water and the drain), just because even simple chores (washing dishes) become multi-step projects. No washboard, but my Mongolian Mom taught me how to do it.
    I will be here until mid-August, when we will be told where our permanent sites will be.
    I haven’t played in the sports for a few reasons. 1. I left my sneakers in my “winter bag” which I won’t get until we get to our permanent sites 2. the playground is pretty much dirt/sand so I would get dirty, even if I didn’t get sweaty 3. I can’t play games where things potentially fly at my face due to the Softball Incident of 6/21/2006.

    • Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

      I was a little surprised to hear that where you’re staying now (the capital), you don’t have running water, I thought that wouldn’t happen till you actually started your “assignment” and was sent to some extreme, rural area of Mongolia. The good news is when you get there, you’ll already be used to no indoor plumbing! Gives new meaning to the term “Wash & Wear.”

      • Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

        I just looked at more of the pictures you’ve posted and although your address when we write to you is “Ulaanbaatar” (the capital), you’re not actually staying in Ulaanbaatar but a “soum” (village) so my bad, now I’m not surprised to hear that you don’t have plumbing where you are. I need to pay more attention!

  8. Rachel Wood says:

    aunty loveyy i didnt want too make you cry.. im glad it was a good cry though … priscilla got dee and i a book about how to be richer smarter and better looking than your parents… she said it was an aunty love type of gift…. mongolia is soo beautiful im glad your happy and adjusting .. how thee food there im curiouss lol love you aunty

  9. Kathy P. Willis says:

    Love, here is a little Mongolian orphan boy singing. I cannot believe how difficult the language sounds & you’re “doing so well” with it after such a short time. You truly are gifted. I hope you can hear him, he’s such a little sweetie.
    Love, Auntie

    • eelevol says:

      This video clip is a perfect example of traditional Mongolian songs. There are SO MANY songs about Mom. (It’s also interesting that the little boy is speaking in Mandarin, but singing in Mongolian. Hope he is doing well.)

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