In January, I received one of the worst news I've ever heard in my life, my mom was really really sick, and everything about her situation was uncertain. The weekend was torture, waiting, praying, crying, calling people, hoping, booking flights, and packing. I was planning on coming back, so I left in a rush, and didn't really say good-bye to anyone, which I totally regret now.
My return flight was in February, but after praying and thinking about it, I felt like I needed to stay. So I did, and while I don't feel regret in making my decision, I'm still sad because I didn't get to end things on my own terms. I didn't get to hug and say good-bye to my kids, to my friends, to my teachers, or to all the random people that made my life happy (the neighborhood stoop kids, the vegetable lady at the market, the shop keepers by my apartment, the stationary lady, the bus station lady, that one bus driver...).
Even though my service was full of ups and downs, I still had so much hope and so many plans so I could end the year strong. Honestly, I was still considering leaving in December, but I had made a conscious decision to stay and to really enjoy my last few months. It is a little ironic now, since I had wished so many times that I could be home, and now I'm homesick for Mongolia.
But, right now, I mostly wish that my mom will get better. I thought Mongolia was going to be the most difficult thing that I could go through, but that's nothing compared to this. Haha, perspective, am I right?? (And yet, as I will always remind myself, things could be even worse than THIS/ be thankful for everyone and everything I have/ all those super corny inspirational sayings that are so lame and so true)
After 18 months of Peace Corps, I'm now back at home, and so many things are different and yet not. I feel different, but also just like a more messed up version of myself before I left, haha. Peace Corps Mongolia was one of the best experiences in my life in that it was one of the worst experiences I've ever gone through, ha ha ha. I've learned so so so much about myself and challenged myself and made it! I don't know how long it's going to take me to process through everything that's happened, I still can't find the words to completely describe anything: what Mongolia was like, what my service was like, what it feels like to be home, or even what my feelings are right now. For now though, I'm moving forward, looking toward my future :)
And, I just want to say a huuuuuge MAHALO (THANK YOU) to everyone here in Hawaii and back in Mongolia, for believing in me, for being a huge support, and for being great friends. I'm so thankful for every single one of you, and there are no words to express my gratitude...
Back in August 2014, right after I arrived at site in Arvaikheer to begin my 2-year service! Standing in front of the horse statues on our town's "hill"