Hi there! As you may know my name is Linda and I have now been in Mongolia for a little bit more than 3 months. I started my adventure by spending two and a half month at the learning center in Sainshand which is in the south east part of the Gobi Desert. Two days ago I arrived to my new placement where I will be staying for 3 months’ time.
My new home town is a small city, around 14 000 inhabitants located in the northern parts of the Gobi Desert. Mandalgovi is described as a very small and quite town, according to Google, Mandalgovi is suitable for a food stop on the way to other parts of the Gobi Desert but not a place where is worth to spend the night. I hope that Mandalgovi will prove this fact being wrong and I’m sure I will have a great time celebrating Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian Lunar New Year’s) with Nangaa and her students here in Mandalgovi.
When I was leaving Sainshand I had very mixed feelings. First I was excited to discover more parts of Mongolia, meet new people and create new friendships. On the other hand I had tears in my eyes saying goodbye to me students and my new friends in Sainshand. Even if two and half month sounds like a short time I was leaving Sainshand with many new and strong relationships. Knowing that I made a difference for the students and for the community hero of the learning center I would like to give them even more of myself. I guess that is the problem, the feeling that you could do even more but that there is no physical way where you can be in several places at the same time.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place”. At the moment it feels like these few sentences describe my life. And it is a price worth to pay, travelling and creating new relationships is for me a great way of living life. I am happy to say that I am sure that the learning center in Sainshand will have a very bright future and that the students will have a bright future continuing learning English but also learning everything else there is to learn about life.
During my time in Mongolia I have learned more and more about the young generation of Mongolia. I had to chance to get to know and meet students from several parts of Mongolia and in several ages. I had the opportunity to spend time at four of the BOOKBRIDGE learning centers here in Mongolia and participate in my first ever scout camp asking the students about their future dreams. Especially I remember my meeting with one of the young scout leaders. With impressive skills she told me about some of the main issues in Mongolia, such as unemployment, alcoholism, physical abusement and climate changes. She told me about her future dreams and how she wants to become an entrepreneur working for a sustainable environment and a greener planet. With today’s globalization and the digital world we are leaving in I’m sure that today’s generation of Mongolia has a huge opportunity to further develop Mongolia and create a brighter future for the people living here.
At last I want to recommend everyone reading this and everyone I know to travel to Mongolia. The nature here is fantastic! Every day I’m stunned by the beautiful Mongolian sky, the sunsets, sunrise as well as moonrise and even moonset (I didn’t even know moonset was a thing). Last weekend I was standing in the Mongolian Desert Mountains on a frozen river with an ice waterfall behind me. I was walking on the same sand as the dinosaurs walked on for 60 million years ago and driving home with a Swedish speaking Mongolian driver I watched an amazing sunset over the Desert Mountains to just 10 minutes later see the Supermoon rise over the sand landscape.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m sure I will have a great time celebrating the holidays in the Gobi Desert!