Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life lately

by Kara

A spastic update on life lately...

We've got a little more than a month left in Mongolia - that's it! It's crazy. I haven't fully mentally prepared myself for returning to the US. I've been so busy lately helping train the new group of volunteers that just arrived that I haven't had much time to sit down and think about all my own stuff.

Training the new volunteers has been fun (and tiring). It's fun to see all their enthusiasm and excitement. Until talking to them I had completely forgotten what it was like to arrive in Mongolia for the first time. It makes me realize how comfortable I've become with many aspects of life here and how normal so many things seem. It's hard trying to balance giving them an optimistic, yet realistic view of what their Peace Corps service might be like, but I'm trying. The worse part about training is that we spend 4 to 5 hours a day commuting from our office to the site their training is at. One day last week we had a tire blowout which extended our time on the road even longer. Not fun. BUT I do get to drive past herds of camels everyday, which still doesn't fail to excite me.

Though most of my mental effort is focused on training, I am thinking about life in the US a bit. I register for classes next week (!) and I'm job-searching. I'm hoping to find a part-time research assistant position at the university. These positions include a paycheck PLUS complete tuition coverage. Obviously that would be awesome and would ensure I wouldn't have to take out any student loans, but of course, these positions are highly coveted. I got really excited about one position that I applied for last week and just got an email from those in charge of hiring asking us applicants to be patient, as they received over 100 applications. Yikes. 100. Those are some tough odds.

Anyway, that's all I've got for this quick update for now. I don't even have any pictures to upload because I'm at an internet cafe and don't have access to my photos right now. Sorry! I'll be finishing up my portion of training next week then heading back home to Arkhangai for the remainder of our time in Mongolia. While in Arkhangai I'll be helping with a 4H exchange program that's bringing some American teenagers to Arkhangai to live with host families. We'll probably take them to my work's summer camp. We've also got Naadam (horse-racing, archery, wrestling) and then of course saying goodbye to everybody, packing up our stuff, giving away lots of stuff, etc. Crazy! Time is flying!!

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