My JOCV Life In Mongolia

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Dec 19, 2016 13:16
While I was working as a Japanese instructor at a university in China, I met a JOCV volunteer who was also a Japanese instructor, and this volunteer was the reason I chose to become involved with JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers). Through them I found out about the existence of such group, learned a lot about the group, so once I went back to Japan, I took and passed JOCV’s exam, and was dispatched to Mongolia as an ornamental plant cultivation volunteer.

Before I moved to Mongolia, I lived in China for four years, and so this may have helped me to believe that moving to Mongolia would not be so difficult, but once I started my new post I was reminded that every country has its own culture and perspectives. Learning the Mongolian language was especially harder than I had imagined, and I felt so impatient because no matter how hard I studied, I did not improve as fast as I had hoped I would.

My time there was complete, thanks to my placement and counterpart. In addition to ornamental plant cultivation, I was able to participate in landscape gardening, tree planting, and vegetable cultivation, and so my biggest ‘harvest’ was how I was able to test with my own hands that flowers, trees, and vegetables can also grow in Mongolia. 

During my second year, I took a summer vacation to go travel all around Mongolia. I was able to experience the ‘real’ Mongolian life, that was different from the city life. Being able to experience the Nomad life for a week, in a place without electricity, water plumbing, or cell phone signals, was especially memorable.