To Your Heart's Content

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A good respite

What a week it was! I was able to get away from the LSAT for about a week since (a much needed reprieve) Alec came through Beijing on his way home from Mongolia with his fiancee, Tozga. We had a blast together. Alec and I were in the Peace Corps together, though our sites were, one could say, a bit far from each other. I always admired Alec for his unfettered energy and sheer courage, as well as his quick wit and intelligence (not to mention his ability to drink ANY of my other friends under the table!). We had some fun-filled adventures together, needless to say.

I think the highlight of his coming to Beijing was seeing him happy with his fiancee, and showing her around a city that dwarfs her capital at least 10 times. She experienced for the first time with him flying on a plane, witnessing a pellmell skyline with perhaps most of the buildings being far taller than any in UB (in fact, I live on the fifteenth floor and their first stop was my place where he remarked that it was her first time being so high in a building), giving her scorpions, crickets, seafood (the Mongolians in general shun seafood for obvious reasons), and other goodies like Beijing roast duck. She is a wonderful woman, who loves Alec dearly and has that wonderful and unique ability to make people feel very comfortable around her.
Another highlight was finally hanging out with the legendary Oyuntamen, a contemporary national boxing hero in Mongolia. He happened to be in Beijing and is perhaps Alec's best Mongolian friend. Well, being Mongolian, he has an innate ability to drink heavily and being a boxer (an internationally known as well) is not really scared of anyone or anything. I should mention also that he is not the most modest man I've ever met and proved to be a funny and inspiring guy to hang out with because of his energy and lack of super-ego mannerisms! We had a great time. I also got a kick out of seeing him interact with other Mongolians, who, because of course they know who he is by name and face, did their absolute best not to offend him by a wayward smile, wrong word, etc!

(no need to point out who is who I suppose)

I was also entirely touched by what Alec did for his research as an MIIS grad student this summer: collected data and put together a report about human traficking in Mongolia. A saddenning and perhaps bleak analysis of the situation in Mongolia. Well, thanks to his research and perhaps the work of some NGOs and PCVs the situation might improve. Let's hope.


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