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, May 03, 2009

Coming Home

Guess I fell off the blogging band wagon here. Can’t believe it’s been a year – yikes. Life just gets in the way of this blogging business. In this society, sometimes it’s difficult to slow down, stop and think about what’s going on all around us. That’s why I envy the Mongolian Nomads sometimes. They must have a lot of time to stop and think while you’re gazing out over the valley, keeping an eye on the herds.

I thought coming back to Chicago would allow me the time to pause and think about what happened to me while in Mongolia the last two years. But that has not been the case. Interestingly, I came across an article I saved while in Mongolia:

“Pole Wakes From 19-Year Coma in Democratic Country - WARSAW (Reuters) - A 65-year-old railway man who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy.”

Can you imagine?!

That’s how I kind of feel about coming home – like I woke up from a two year coma. Many things have changed in the two years I was away from the US. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping up on things via phone calls, emails and the internet. But it’s amazing, for example, what new technology has developed: ipods, iphones, facebook and social networking, police cameras at intersections. Not to mention new music, fashions, trends, tv shows, yada, yada, yada. In just two years! Even job hunting in the traditional method of sending out paper resumes has changed. Now you can create a website and even a video resume.

So here I’ve been back in the US for nearly a year now. I had expected to come back, get a temp job, make some extra money, work on my art work for a few months and try to organize a future art exhibition/project, catch up with family and friends and eat as much Thai and Mexican food (which I missed). But the US economy took a nose dive, jobs have been scarce, galleries have closed and funding for lots of things has been cut dramatically. Back in Mongolia….the Parliament is STILL “working on” the mining agreement, inflation is high, the value of the US dollar has risen dramatically, and it seems I have more job potential back there, working as an English teacher than I do working as a temp in Chicago – go figure!

I am happy that I was home for the election of our new President. I feel very hopeful, as do many of the friends I talk to overseas. On May 24th, the people of Mongolia will elect their new president. I hope they choose to make a change and are lucky to have a refreshing and inspirational president as we have. I’m looking forward to returning there again soon.


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