Christmas Eve 2017

December 25, 2017 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

It’s Christmas Eve, December 24.and I’m sitting at home on my couch listening to Christmas music, snug and warm in my Mongolian camel wool shawl with a Mongolian yak cashmere scarf round my neck. 

Judyshome

I decided this would be a good time to update my blog.  I see that the last time I wrote in it was September 2015.  I began my blog in 2008 when I went to Mongolia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Its purpose then was to record my experiences in Mongolia and share them with friends back in America.  After I returned in 2012, I’ve updated it each year when I returned to Mongolia to see my friends. But last year I didn’t write in it.  So now…

In the 2015 blog, I mentioned I had rented a little apartment in East Boston.  I had fallen in love with the Jeffries Point neighborhood right on Boston Harbor and had a great view of the downtown Boston skyline all aglow at night.  BosSkylineAnd I was right across the street from Piers Park where I could watch all the ships and boats coming and going: sail boats big and small, giant tanker ships carrying oil, tugboats guiding them along, water taxis scampering about, tour boats heading in and out and up and down the coast. I considered moving to Eastie (as we call it) but I did keep my Marblehead home and would drive back and forth every few days (it’s about a 40-minute drive).

I came to love Eastie and its ethnic diversity and took every advantage to become involved in the community — going to all kinds of local events and volunteering in various ways.  Everywhere I turned I met interesting people — local shop keepers, local politicians,, local environmental activists  and my neighbors — and we all became friends.

The main thing I got involved with is called Eastie Farm, started not long before I arrived in East Boston. This is a grassroots effort by locals who enjoy gardening and wanted to grow food as a community while being eco-friendly. It began in a vacant lot where a house had been condemned and torn down.  It is located between two 3-story residential homes.  Gradually, the soil is being decontaminated but for now everything that is going to be eaten is grown in raised beds.  2016 was its fourth season growing tomatoes, carrots, kale, squash, lots of herbs, and other things. Anyone can come in and harvest the vegetables and fruits and we also give to local food kitchens.  It has been a wonderful project to be a part of and I look forward to continuing my involvement in 2018.

At the end of my year’s lease (October 2016) in Eastie, I did not renew the lease and so when I came back to Marblehead full time, I became involved locally again— the League of Women Voters, the Recycling Committee, the Fair Housing Committee. And most important, the Marblehead Racial Justice Team.  Suffice it to say for now, there is much work to be done.

And of course, I keep in touch with my Mongolian friends.  I went back for my annual visit last summer (2017) and stayed about a month with a few days in UB and a couple of weeks in Muron and out at a friend’s ger camp just east of Muron.  I love spending time with my Mongolian friends and helping out in small ways in the community.  People I knew when they were single back in 2008 are now married and have children.  Surely Mongolian children are the most adorable children in the world!  Yes, things have changed over the years — more access to the internet, more cars, a few more paved roads, more supermarkets.  But overall it is the town and the people I loved when I first arrived.

Before I close this blog, I will have to mention the changes in my own country over the past year.  I will just say briefly I do not support the current president in any way.  I marched in the Women’s March shortly after inauguration in January.  And I do everything I can to support organizations that are standing up for the highest principles and supportive of social justice issues. 

So, in closing, I wish you all a new year filled with opportunities to reach out and love and support your fellow man in any way you can.  The photo here is of my standing on mirror smooth ice on the pond near my house.  Take it as my New Year’s greeting.

judyonice

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From Uriankhai to Yak Festivals

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