..or should I say, this Peace Corps Mongolia experience I am having certainly is like a roller coaster ride! PC talked about the ups and downs and how natural and expected it is to have extreme emotional highs and lows during service. Never let it be said that we weren't warned; because we sure were. Many times...
The ups and downs of service can be interesting, challenging, disconcerting, scary, strange and oddly fulfilling. Sometimes, all at the same time!
One minute I am slowly, excruciatingly, painfully slowly, climbing the huge hill, gripping the handrail till the circulation in my fingers cease; terror gripping my chest, counting slowly to myself, and chanting, breathe, breathe, breathe... And the next thing I know we have reached the top and now I am screaming (with a combination of joy,fear, thrill, exhilaration) waving my hands madly in the air as we plummet down...way too fast. Thrilled and frightened simultaneously ...what a rush!
The ups and downs that I have been experiencing as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia are similar to a roller coaster adventure. I don't know about you, but I really like roller coasters. Ok, I used to love them when I was younger, but now "really like" covers it.
In fact the most recent time I enjoyed riding a roller coast was the summer of 2009 with Courtney (my lovely surrogate daughter :))and her bridal party. We spent the day at Cedar Point (amusement park famous for coasters and the best in our area) for the bridal/ bachelorette party.
Being the "old lady" of the group, I was not quite as enthusiastic as the girls about riding, say, the top fuel dragster, which goes straight up in the air (many many stories high I might add), only to plummet straight down, all at unbelievably high rates of speed... hence the name.
However, I did ride many of the other slightly more tame coaster with the girls... the mantis, maverick and what was that first one we went on where I thought I was going to have some anxiety attack before we even climbed the first hill... but I didn't... in fact, it was (dare I say it?) fun!
After we got off the ride, I felt pretty damn good...I told Courtney, we did it, and commented that Vicki (my lovely daughter) was always too afraid to ride coasters and we did it for her, and that she was with us too. We had a tearful moment, then the festivities continued as they should.
Peace Corps Mongolia is kinda like that ride, and every time I feel anxious, discouraged, lonely, unsure and missing Vicki I remind myself to breathe, breathe, breathe, and that my lovely daughter is right here with me, always in my heart.