Goodbye, America!

Sitting in the living room of the small suite we’ve called home for the last few weeks and realizing that in 24 hours we will be sitting in Denver International Airport waiting for our flight is a little surreal. We began this journey last August and have been working toward departure over the last year. There have been hard conversations and second-guessing along the way, but as I write this, the doubts are gone. Mostly, we are both excited and looking forward to getting settled into our new home so we can discover a new rhythm to life.

It is hard to leave the US. Even though I grew up overseas, I’ve spent the last eleven years in the Seattle area and now consider it home. That’s more than double the amount of time that I’ve ever lived in one country. Uprooting, familiar as it is, is a little harder this time because I’ve had the chance to build relationships and familiarity that I never really had before. Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with my parents–who are currently living in the DRC–and cried when I hung up the phone. I can honestly say that I don’t know when we’ll see them next. Seeing pictures of our niece and nephew on facebook made me remember that they will be two years older before we get to hug them again. Later in the day, a phone call with my sister made me worry about leaving her. It is so hard to leave all of this behind in a cloud of ambiguity, but somehow it’s still worth it.

I know that adjusting to life in Mongolia will be tough. If past experience is any indicator, I’m sure we will both encounter days of frustration and confusion and dismay. At the same time, I know that working with our future students will be rewarding. (We know now where we will be teaching, although we do not know the specifics of our classes–grade level, type of course. Even so, it is fun to wonder and hope.) Having the opportunity to learn Mongolian language and culture is something that not many people have. I count this new season of our lives a privilege and am thankful that we get to go.

We will be hitting the ground running in UB, so I really do not know when I’ll be able to post again, but the next post will be from Mongolia. Until then, баяртай (bayartai)!

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