June 6, 2008

People

So far the people I have met in Mongolia are very welcoming, just like the reputation that they have created for themselves. I see dozens of smiles when I walk down the streets and plenty of welcoming “Sainnu’s” and “Sain bainnu?’s” which equate to “Hi, hello,” and “How are you?” I also see dozens and dozens of children playing together in the parks, with volley balls, soccer balls and footballs. Family and friends are very important here, maybe even more so because televisions, computers and more high falooting tools of entertainment are not readily available. That is certainly one of the things I enjoyed most about Costa Rica when I was able to spend time studying abroad with my host family for two months. Technology was available but took a backseat to interactions with other people. They would rather play outside or sit in the living room and talk than watch television or seek fulfillment outside their family and friends. They made their own fun and were the better for it physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I think there is a lot of wisdom in investing within the people around you, sharing your time and energy with others, and using your own creativity and excitement to make realities out of opportunities. These opportunities could be one more smile on a child’s face or a new soccer field in your neighborhood. I will have no lack of such opportunities here in Mongolia, I know this. The more I listen, the more I seek to understand the Mongolian people, and the more I become part of their lives and they become a part of mine the quicker I will see such opportunities right in front of me.

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