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Preface: Departure imminent, my new address, other business

June 2, 2010

Greetings and apologies:

I’ve been remiss in my blog updates but I have been extremely busy with last minute packing and preparations. In a sense, I’ve been meandering towards departure with blinders on; a little scared to completely face up to the reality that is bearing down. Today, it’s no longer an option. My flight leaves from Minneapolis tomorrow at 6:15 AM with a short layover in Denver on my way to a 2-day orientation in San Francisco with my fellow M21s (the Peace Corps LOVES their shorthand, so get ready. M21: M=Mongolia; 21=21st class of volunteers to be in Mongolia).

I’ve got everything I need in a large pile in the basement and this afternoon will be spent stuffing it into a couple of bags. Last night I had a chance to speak to my Godfather for a long time, which helped my state of mind immensely. He was part of my original inspiration for pursuing this goal from the very beginning. He was a teacher training volunteer in Sierra Leone in the first-ever year of the Peace Corps in 1961. It’s apparent that this was a profound experience for him, and his story of getting in a cab in New York (? I think) and immediately knowing that his driver was from Sierra Leone really captured my attention–he spoke to the driver in his native language and the man opened up to him, ecstatic that they found this momentary kinship through language and culture. I desperately want to be able to pursue this same feeling for the rest of my life with Mongolian people anywhere in the world; what a magnificent gift.

Obviously, I feel better this morning. But, I’ll need every one of you, dear readers, to be close to my mind and heart in the coming months. As I’ve said here before, this experience has never been about getting away. I hope in this time we can grow together even though we’re apart. In that same vein, please have a look at my new address!

Rob Galloway, PCT

Post Office Box 1036

Central Post Office

Ulaanbaatar 15160

Mongolia (via China)

This is my Pre-Service Training address ONLY. This means that I’ll only be reachable through this for the first three months, after which I’ll be placed at my permanent work site and you’ll have to send things there if they are to get to me. As far as I’ve heard, mail is a little slow getting around Mongolia, sometimes 3 or 4 weeks even. However, I think because this address is in the capital city (quite modern) it may be fairly quick. We’re sending a test package today or tomorrow so I’ll let all of you know.

Thanks so much for your love and support. I miss you all.

All my best,

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