I’m officially a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). I flew home on 1 August on a direct flight from Beijing. This time my suitcases were under the 50 pound limit as I mostly carried home my Mongolian clothes, gifts I received, and all of the goodies I bought in Ulaanbaatar. 

July was simultaneously a slow and fast month. It was pouring during the Naadam festivities. Then during one weekend, my entire town lost power. Last time this happened Mongolians had been forewarned about it and had told me, so I could pre-download movies and charge my external battery. However, this time, there was no warning. My closest friends had either left for the countryside or were in the city. I was standing in a dark supermarket with other Mongolians looking glumly at what we could buy that wouldn’t require electricity to prepare: a jar of pickles, canned fish, carrots, crackers. Ultimately, I dropped my shopping basket, walked out, and went straight to the bus station to buy the next ticket to the city. 

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Trying to avoid getting drenched at the Naadam stadium.
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A ride around the government square.
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Went out for dinner with Tuya’s family. 

Clearing out my apartment was a month-long process. For future Peace Corps Volunteers in Mongolia, don’t wait until the last few days to begin organizing, donating, and selling your items.  You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll accumulate. My apartment wasn’t going to have another Peace Corps Volunteer living in it so everything had to go. 

Peace Corps offices around the world have a special bell which volunteers are allowed to ring when we have successfully completed our service of two-years. It signals the end. My group decided to wait until everyone had finished their end of service interviews, medical exams, and other miscellaneous paper work in order to ring the bell together. We were a little too enthusiastic as a piece of the bell fell off.  

“We came in together, we’re leaving together.”

 

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With 5 out of 9 of the Yeruu gang/my training group from 2016.

 

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Returned Peace Corps Volunteer 🙂 

Now I’m happy to be home, but my time in Mongolia will be with me forever. 

Watch my video at the top for my last summer in Mongolia. 

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Peace Corps Mongolia

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When you have to sit through a very long meeting in Mongolian.
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When PCVs feel underappreciated by their HCAs.
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When it’s spring and sand storms are a thing.
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When a student who has been mute all year suddenly reads perfectly or answers a question fluently.
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When it’s finally the weekend and you don’t need to answer those “Where are you?” messages.
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When you find someone who can speak fluent English.
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When you put on a Mongolian deel.

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When you have a great idea for your school and it’s got some traction for a day or two but then slips away as people lose interest.
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When it’s the COS lottery for who gets to go home during week 1 or week 2.
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When the people you work with believe everything they read on Facebook.
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That determination you feel when your second year begins.
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When you’ve got to mingle but you have no idea what anyone is saying.
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When you begin work at your HCA.
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When you go to the countryside for the weekend with your school.
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When you try to make a dash to the store next door before anyone sees you. 
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When you’re in the Shangri La. 
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When you can say a sentence in Mongolian.
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When you arrive at staging and meet your friends who are embarking on the same crazy adventure as you.
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When you’re finally on that plane back to America.
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Whenever you go out in public.
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When you make it to COS.

 

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When you go shopping after a really long time and something actually fits you. 

 

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When you’re in the city and you’re debating if you really should spend all your money on food and drinks.
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When no one tells you anything.
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When it’s the middle of winter.
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When you have a terrible singing voice but everyone at karaoke says otherwise.
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When you get that call or text saying your package from America has arrived.
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When people go “OY” or whistle for your attention.
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When it’s only Monday.
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When you have food poisoning or any other ailment that brings you down.
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When people at work are surprised that you’re still here.
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When nothing is going according to plan.

 

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When you think sticking a face mask on will solve all your worries.
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When you haven’t seen your American friends in months.
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When people back home ask if you really ate a goat’s head.

 

 

This is simply a humorous post about PC Mongolia.