Friday, June 29, 2012

The End and The Beginning

Hello one and all!

I write to you all on a beautiful Mongolian summer day, listening to the delightful sounds of construction taking place right outside my window... which started at 4 am. 

But the warm air and quick internet connection are not all that's different about this post. I have officially COSed as a PCV and have joined the ranks of the thousands who came before me as an RPCV!!

(Peace Corps sure does love it's acronyms: COS = close of service, PCV = peace corps volunteer, RPCV = returned peace corps volunteer [though 'returned' is misleading as I won't be returning anywhere for quite a bit... read on, read on...])


The COS process was long and filled with paperwork, but all in all, everything went perfectly smooth. This was the hard part:

and this...

and this... (they are sending me off to UB!)

oh god and THIS... (for those who don't know, Lloyd the Dowg will continue to reside in Dariganga under the care of Shine and Bajay. He has doggy friends and I am convinced he will be happiest there. Oh, but when they take down my ger... yanaa, I can't think about it!)

I think I will miss you most of all... (The word for "to miss" is the same as the word for "to remember" Mongolian. I totally get it. I don't think I'll ever be able to remember these people without missing them terribly.)

OH GEEZ, I got myself cryin again. I could (should) reflect about all my triumphs and failures over the past two years. Or about the crazy things I've done. Or about what I've learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer living in Mongolia. But, in the end, it is these three people, my best friends and my family, who have made this experience everything it is. 

And just like that, it's over. 

But one must continue to look forward, non? And I have a pretty sunshine-y path ahead. Some friends and I recently took a quick jaunt to Ulan Ude and Lake Baikal in Russia to renew our Mongolian visas. We camped right off the shore for three days, hiking around and eatin fish. 

Oh, and Ulan-Ude is home to the world's largest Lenin head! How about that?

Now, my friends and I are gearing up for our 3 week canoe trip from Lake Khuvsgal to the Russian border in Mongolia. We expect a very good time. And on August 3rd, I fly out to Bangkok to begin my journeys in Southeast Asia! My ETA stateside is still TBD, sorrrrryyyyy. 

Things are looking good, people! 

As always, I love and miss you all. Go White Sox. Boo Cubs. Happy summer and good day. 

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