Cultural Connections

Musings about my experiences, art, and life in Mongolia and beyond.

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Location: Ulaanbaatar, Tuv aimag, Mongolia

Native Chicagoan currently teaching in Mongolia.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Equinox" and "Camel Polo"

March 25, 2007; 11 p.m.; month 6; 40 F; cloudy

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Sometimes it’s hard to believe I have been here six months already. I haven’t been away from my home and family this long since college! And I am missing my family, friends and some small things…like a good old Chicago hotdog and fries from Suzie’s! But as in Joseph Campbell’s quote above, sometimes we have to make sacrifices to experience new things; to experience life anew.

It hasn’t always been easy here, but it certainly has brought many interesting moments and experiences to grow that I would never have had in my old life. This month we had both a lunar and solar eclipse – unfortunately, I missed both due to clouds. But as the astrologers will say, with eclipses come change and this month has had its share (as if I haven’t had enough already). The Women’s Day exhibition certainly brought lots of publicity, interviews and connections.
Last week, I was offered an opportunity to read the weekly news in English on National TV. Oh, and we attended the first ever camel polo championship and race. This week, a friend offered me an opportunity to work with him on his tourism business. I’ve also decided to set up an online shop with Café Press to sell some of my artwork and photos. Six months ago, I never would have dreamed that I would be given such opportunities. Who knows how long they will last, what they will lead to or if they will succeed. I am ever grateful for these opportunities and my friends and family who have supported me!

Winter is slowly turning to spring here on the frozen steppes. The temperature has been hovering close to 40 F here all week. The smoke from the ger district is not as heavy. The flower seeds I planted are finally sprouting on my kitchen window sill. The little elderly ladies in their bright brocade dels, who disappeared during the winter months are beginning to congregate outside again. And the calves that were grazing along the river before the winter freeze have reappeared…nearly full grown. All signs that spring is coming and life is being renewed!


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