Just to note: I’ll be speaking at the Teton Country Library in Jackson on September 17th at 6 pm about my Peace Corps experience in Mongolia.
I’m back in Wyoming and back in Laramie to finish up my graduate degree in NGO Administration from the Global and Area Studies Department at the University of Wyoming. The return has been an exciting, disorienting, and amazing experience. When you live abroad for such a long time you change things about yourself to fit into the local culture from the very explicit things like how you speak to people, how you move in crowds, and the pace you maintain through your day. Returning home brings all those things that became natural back in the open. For a while I still was a foot in Mongolia, using those behaviors and ways of thinking, while trying to negotiate with who I was before I left for Mongolia and who I am living in the States after having experience Mongolia.
I think getting thrown back into the mix and being challenged to reckon with different experiences has helped. I spent time in the ultimate of places and home with my Mom and Joe: Jackson Hole. I left and spent time with my family in Evanston where we make picture frames for my upcoming art show. Then I went to my brother’s bachelor party in South Lake Tahoe to celebrate with Ben and his troupe of jolly friends. I saw my grandparents and was treated so kindly and fed very well. Then I left for San Francisco for another friend reunion and explored the outdoors through trail running. Great to feel physically active after being pretty dormant for the past three-years. I returned to Jackson to celebrate my brother’s family and again reunite with more family and friends. Now I am back in Laramie in an academic world that is demanding on so many different levels. It is another language and culture to get reaccustomed to.
One of the goals of the Peace Corps is to share your experience when you get home. Throughout my Peace Corps service I was doing art and when I returned to Jackson I hung that art up at a local brew pub, Snake River Brewing Co.
I also want to thank the Jackson Hole News and Guide and writer Claudia Martin for working with me to put an article in the Stepping Out section of the local paper. It was great to connect with a born and raised local and see that she is telling stories about community members in the dynamic town of Jackson!
Check out the article: