Words by Emma Rodgers.
Six days in, four to go.
144 hours in, 96 hours to go.
My host mom and host sister had left the ger two days ago, and I had been left with my host dad, brother, and who I assumed were my host cousins. The day would begin at around six am, and end when the sun went down at around eleven. Some days seemed to go by relatively fast, and others dragged on forever.
The ones that dragged on were the worst, as those were the days where I had time to think. I had time think about what I had gotten myself into, throwing myself into Mongolia with a homestay family who lived in a ger the size of my room back at home.
I was with a group who I had met two weeks ago, and although I didn’t feel all that close them, in the times I was alone during my homestay, all I wanted was to see a familiar face. It wasn’t until my last day of the homestay that I had finally gotten into the routine of a Mongolian nomad, and it wasn’t until my last day that I realized that I would miss the hours upon hours of doing nothing but laying out in the sun, and periodically helping my family with chores such as butchering goats and finding ‘баас’ (dung) for the evening fire.
Through this experience, I came to a realisation.
No matter where I am, or who I am with, it is up to me, and only me, to make the best of the situation. I also began to understand that for me, I need time to form meaningful relationships with people and my surroundings. I learned that with perseverance I can get through anything and that no matter what situation I am put in, I know that one day it will be over, whether I enjoyed being in the situation or not. I think this is an important lesson for everyone to learn, because as cliche as it sounds, every morning you have the decision to make your day as fulfilling as you want. Friends and family can always help to make the days and life in general better, but when it comes down to it, being able to rely on yourself, and yourself only, is the way to ensure a positive life.