After completing her trip to Khovd and participating in another physical therapy training clinic for a neighboring hospital, Ashley has decided to return to America. This was not an easy decision, but after extensive conversations between us, she decided it was the best thing to do. Needless to say, I fully support her decision. The hardest part will be the logistics and paperwork associated with leaving the apartment in Mongolia, going to UB for 10 days (to be explained later), then actually traveling to America. In related news, Ashley has decided to bring Bear back to the US with her. Bear has all of her shots/vaccinations/etc, but needs to be in UB 10 days prior to departure and have paperwork completed by the veterinarian and submitted to the airline. Since Bear has all of the requisite shots, she will not be quarantined upon arrival here. It is great news that she is bringing Bear back, but that also makes the logistics much more difficult because she has to account for a dog and a large crate. Peace Corps pays for Ashley's plane ticket, but we have to pay for Bear to ride in the cargo-hold of the plane (~$200). Anyways, next week Ashley will leave our town and move to UB to begin the paperwork. She will be in UB for approximately 10-12 days, then fly back. Right now, the tentative arrival date is August 20th - 22nd (flights TBD). She will either fly back to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, to be determined also.
Therefore, she wants me to let everyone know that all packages, mail, etc should be held and not sent. It would not arrive before she leaves Mongolia. If you recently sent something, please let us know and we will make arrangements at the post office to get it or have it picked up for us.
I just took a 2 week trip to Chicago, Nashville, and Knoxville. I went to Chicago with my mom to see Shannon and we visited the aquarium, planetarium, and other sites around Shannon's apartment. Unfortunately, the weather was brutally hot, but we had a nice time. Then, I drove to TN and mom took the bus back to OH. I stopped in Nashville for a day to see Dale, which was fun. We ate hot chicken at Bolton's and went to the State Flea Market. Then, I went to Knoxville and spent a week with Mike and his family. He took me to all of the cool sights/places in the area. The highlight was driving the "Tail of the Dragon" twice, then going tubing down the Y out of Townsend. It was a fantastic time. I tried to eat all of the culinary treats from each town, which including Chicago pizza (Gino's East), Nashville sweet tea and hot chicken (Boltons), Knoxville soul food (Chandlers) and bbq (pork butt), and Cincinnati skyline chili. It was all very good.
On a more serious note, I've earnestly started looking for a job. I've applied to a few positions, had 1 interview, but have had no offers. It is very frustrating. I have not found many jobs in the Pgh region that are of particular interest to me, so I am extending my search, primarily NE towards NY and Vermont, NH, etc. I don't know if I will have any more luck up there, but maybe. When Ashley returns, we will have to figure out where we want to live and what our future plans are.