Archive for December, 2010

Update in December 2010

I’ve been home almost three months.  It’s been great to see my granddaughters and the rest of my family, to visit with friends, and to see a full moon rise out of the ocean from my own back porch.

On the one hand, it has been easy to slip back into an American life.  Running water, hot showers, indoor plumbing and a thermostat instead of a wood stove.  On the other hand, it feels very strange to be back.  Too much stuff.  I never thought I was a big collector but there it is.  So one thing I’ve done is to start getting rid of stuff–tossing it out or giving it away.  Got a ways to go but I’m making progress.  I’d like to get down to just the basics. Live life simply as I did in Mongolia.

I had the misfortune to arrive back in the middle of the 2008 electoral campaign.  The polarization of the political rhetoric has been very disappointing.  The heavy focus by politicians on what will get  them re-elected rather than how can they can work together to solve the challenges facing our country has been appalling.  I know this is nothing new, but the partisanship seems way beyond anything I can remember.

Some things have heartened me.  More small cars, more bike paths, more farmers’ markets, perhaps a little more interest in recycling.  At the same time, there appears to be a growing disbelief in climate change and global warming.  Perhaps if those people lived in a country where desertification and access to water are being challenged, they might change their tune.

I do miss Mongolia and my friends there.  And I hope to return for six months in the spring if the details can be worked out by Peace Corps.  There are still projects I would like to help with if I can.  Meanwhile, I am delighted to have access to books and a local library again, to play a little squash (rusty as I am), and to have bagels and Kalamata olives, though not together.

One thing I’ve worked on over the last few months is a presentation about my experience in Mongolia that includes a lot of photos.  Several groups have asked me to come and talk to them and I’m happy to do so.   It is the third major goal of Peace Corps to promote an understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people.  And I love to tell people about this beautiful country of Mongolia and the wonderful people who live there.

Finally, as it is December, I wish all my blog readers a happy holiday.  This year is Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary.  Think about applying yourself.  As a former Peace Corps volunteer said to me before I left in 2008, “It will be the hardest thing you ever do, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.”

 

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December 13, 2010 at 3:51 am Leave a comment


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