By the time I joined the ranks of the United States Peace Corps in 2010, I was fifty-three years old and I needed a change. Not a small minor adjustment like a new hairstyle, or maybe learning a new hobby. What my life required at that point was an 'Extreme Makeover Lifestyle' kind of change. I was seeking an opportunity to change my daily existence, to stretch my mind to new levels, top open my heart to new people. I sought to widen the scope of my spirituality and to increase my understanding of myself. I craved thrilling and stimulating situations that would test my limits and expand my boundaries. I had requested to work in the agricultural sector in sub-Saharan Africa. I ended up in Mongolia working in community youth development. My adventurer's spirit told me the universe knows where I should be and what I should be doing. The twenty six months living in Mongolia were some of the most challenging, exasperating and meaningful in my life.
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Mongolia Monologues: One Woman's Quest to Experience, Learn and Grow... based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite You’re never too old to change or to learn. Joanne Nussbaum’s Mongolia Monologues is a perfect illustration of this truth. Joining the Peace Corps at the age of 53 presented some challenges to Joanne that might not befall someone much younger, but the lessons learned from them were no less effective. Having initially thought to be volunteering in an agricultural capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, Joanne suddenly found herself working in youth development in Mongolia. Challenges with hygiene conditions and her own natural clumsiness presented some irritations to overcome, but none was more difficult than attempting to eat the traditional food, mutton, which she ultimately refused after several attempts. There were challenges with relationships, but also the creation of some lasting bonds. Her greatest successes were in that particular area, rather than those things which might be shown on paper and in statistics. All in all, Joanne grew, adapted and learned what things are most important in a person’s life; proving that you actually can teach an old dog new tricks. Many who have never experienced life outside of the U.S. or major European countries don’t often understand that other people in the world have the challenge of simply surviving. Mongolia Monologues and Joanne Nussbaum help to address this particular ignorance and at the same time do so in a humorous fashion. Joanne is not judgmental about the more well-to-do countries, but does help provide us with a great deal of the wisdom that can be gained by seeing how the other half lives, so to speak. Delightfully easy to read, with plenty of humor and plenty of very candid truths that she learned as a Peace Corps volunteer, Mongolia Monologues will help you open your mind and perhaps your heart as you realize - along with the author - that people the world around are essentially the same and that love is always the answer.