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25 cent tour.

Please allow me to paint you a Mongolian picture.

Peace Avenue is the main road running through the city. Naturally so, when I want to go sit somewhere to read on a beautiful day like today, I need to travel this oh-so-busy road.

So imagine, this road with me. It all starts here... "I need to go to the Post Office" or "I want to look for some new white board markers" or "Let's go sit and read at Cafe Amsterdam" or any other thought that might go through your mind. 9 times out of 10, you need to go down Peace Avenue for all your desires. There are countless schools, The Wrestling Palace, The State Department Store, Sukhbaatar Square (the main square downtown), restaurants, a Louis Vuitton store (necessity, right? not for me), the main Post Office for the country, etc. You name it, it's on Peace Avenue.

Along with all these places, there is the public transportation system. Now there is the picture's center piece...the transportation system and me. Together, we're a pair.

There are a lot of buses here. Some are yellow, some green, blue, red, white, even pink. And they all have a rather mysterious destination. I say mysterious only because it's mysterious to me. Everyone else seems to know exactly which bus they should get on. I just cross my fingers and get on hoping that the mysterious destination in the name isn't quite as mysterious anymore.

By trial and error Erin and I have conquered many situations with a bus that costs about 25 cents rather than a taxi that costs nearly 2 dollars (we're really cheap). And we're even better than the very beginning of our time here when I'm fairly certain we walked about 20 miles in two days because we were afraid of all other forms of transportation.

Erin and I are by no means bus experts but we have gotten braver by the day. We now take nearly any bus that we think will get us where we want to go. Thus said, we find ourselves in some interesting situations.

My pretty frequent situation is a silent scream (it's really loud in my head!) that my bus will not turn next to tbe post office--off of Peace Avenue. I'll give you a guess at how often that screaming works. If you guessed "not so often" or "never" you're pretty accurate.

The bus almost always turns when I don't want it to. If you know me well, you'll probably think that is funny because you can guess my reaction. Although everything is silent, my face tells it all.

Thankfully, I'm used to it now and I know all the little shortcuts for when it does turn. I actually expect it to turn and it's like a little gift when it doesn't. It's always an adventure.

If you'd like to have a fun bus experience with Holli and Erin. We have tours, the going rate is 25 cents. We'd love to have you.

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An ode to my wiser self

I've been thinking about blogging a lot lately. Well, writing, rather. I used to write a lot. It was therapeutic and life giving for me. It helped me to be in a constant state of process where I was not just taking in life but searching for and digging for meaning. It kept me grounded and real, for lack of better word.

I have been starting to write more lately and have several little bits I'm working on. In the process of digging out my blog from the depths of the internet, I found this jewel that I wrote years ago. Yes, that's right... years ago. I thought it was beautiful and worth sharing. So, in an attempt to revive this way of sharing my thoughts and processing...

Here is an ode to my younger (and probably wiser) self:


Welcome to The Chronicles of a Confused Citizen.

Here I am, residing in the country I was born in, living the life I knew from my birth to year 22.

It doesn't quite feel right, though.

Recently, as I found myself living in Mongolia, I started feelin…

bring it on, world.

October 26, 2011.

That is the day I last wrote a blog. That's not the day when my life changed but it is a day that I can recognize as one of the last ones when I knew who I was and what my purpose was.

I'm not generally a quitter. Sure, sometimes I quit on books or I quit on small projects but in life, nope. I  try hard at most things, usually right until the end. I won't say that quitting is not a thought that meanders through my being when something gets tough but I have come to learn that when I stick things out I come out having learned a thing or two.

But I did quit. I quit a big commitment. I said I would live in Washington, DC and I would do my best.

I tried. I also had my very first panic attack, too.

It was too much. I couldn't think or breathe. I couldn't cope with the devastation I felt for leaving Mongolia early that March morning. I couldn't cope with no one understanding what Mongolia had meant to me and how it had changed me right down to my bo…