Monday, December 24, 2012

Mongolian Christmas

When Peace Corps volunteers go abroad we are aware that we will be gone for two years. Life will go on in the states. However, we don’t realize how slowly things move here, sometimes we feel like we’re in limbo. Friends back home get jobs, get married, have children, and graduate from graduate programs. Meanwhile, we are still in our small towns, “saving the world”. But what happens when problems arise? Family members fall ill, etc. Some volunteers go home to spend time with family, others stay in their host country at the request of their family members, but everyday they think about what they are missing. Recently one of my close Peace Corps friends returned home. His father has brain cancer and this holiday could possibly be his last.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I boarded that plane for Mongolia. However, I was not aware of how difficult it would be to be away from family. You don’t realize how important it is to be physically present when something bad happens at home. Just the feeling of a hug or a kiss on the cheek can be enough to comfort a loved one. During my time in Mongolia I have realized how important my family is to me.

Peace Corps Family Photo :-)
My family and the idea of family is such an essential part of my life because family is what has enabled me to become the person that I am thus far. My parents have always supported me and instilled in me the idea of being the best person that I can be. The best person that I can be is not just a successful student or a successful employee. The best person I can be is a person that embodies everything that generations of my family have striven for. My family is made up of all sorts of individuals. Some of us have great expectations and some of us have not yet reached our full potential. Some of us are motivators and some of us need to be motivated. As I grow into the person that I am meant to be I continue to be motivated by my family and friends.

As my last Christmas in Mongolia comes to a close I want to thank my family friends for supporting me in all of my endeavors. I also want to dedicate this post to all of the former Peace Corps volunteers that had to cut their journey’s short because of unfortunate circumstances at home. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! I think that the following quote sums up Christmas perfectly. Have a wonderful holiday!

~Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas- Calvin Coolidge 

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