Just like when I was a kid, summer always flies by entirely too fast!!! The long daylight hours still fool me into thinking the warm weather and sunshine will last forever! The slow relaxed pace of this season makes it my favorite. I relish the warmth and serenity of gardening, being outside more and just taking it easy. Not only is it refreshing, renewing and restorative, it's a magical time of year.
Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to garden or grow anything from seed has witnessed one of the greatest miracles. To see this on a large scale during the summertime is amazing! It never gets too familiar or old for me.
As usual, I tried to cram as much fun into the season, while still relaxing, enjoying and relishing the summer time. During this slow season when the school kids were gone, I gardened a bit. Though my garden is only surviving here in this desert, I am already planning for next year- think greenhouse! I have been away for almost 3 weeks and need to go see my garden plot tomorrow.... I should have some tomatoes, peas and beans to pick......maybe even more lettuce and spinach!
In addition to having my sister visit for almost 2 weeks in July, enjoying the big Nadaam celebation in my town, I also traveled a bit this summer. I went to a neighboring town (5 hour bus ride) for Sharayah's birthday. After we celebrated her birthday with many Mongolian friends, I hung out for 2 days, then we ventured to the city together. The bus ride to UB is 13 hours and we were unfortunate to have the very back seats, that when we hit the huge bumps, we flew up........ Never a dull moment! Once in UB we stayed with another PCV for 2 days and saw many fellow PCV's. The good food available in restaurants in UB is always a big draw for me and I enjoyed burgers and fries! (every bite and more than once:)
Five of us then traveled north to Darkhan to witness the new PCV's at their site announcements. I recall this as being such an exciting and scary time and was reassured by having other PCV's there to meet and greet me, so I wanted to extend the same to our new site mates! I welcomed 3 new PCV's in my city and 3 more in outlying areas! Darkhan is the second largest city in this country and from what I saw of it, is much cleaner and nicer than UB. Being so far north, there is also a lot more green stuff there, including trees! Man, do I ever miss trees!
Just another hour by meeker is my fellow CYD Pedro in Selenge aimag, where 4 of us went to spend a day and night. The scenery there is so different from most of the country, that it looks like Russia, or eastern Europe in comparison..... The lush green landscape, covered with many trees, actual crop fields and lots and lots of water! Kate, Sharayah and I all ended up with congestion and allergy symptoms after one night there! We are definitely used to the desert air!
Then back to UB for a few days R & R prior to our mid service training.... Vacation, as well as summer in general, was a whirlwind! Horseback riding (half of it in the pouring rain) was a big highlight of the training, spent at Terelj National park where we stayed in gers.
As I rode home from the city on the bus yesterday, I sadly noticed it was getting dark around 8 pm... when did that happen? Wasn't it just last week that it was still light at 9? School starts in a few days and there is a nip in the air........Goodbye summertime....I shall miss you dearly.....