Cristina Dewey, Mongolia, 1992-1994

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Cristina Dewey, Mongolia, 1992-1994

Cristina Dewey, Mongolia, 1992-1994

Who: Cristina Dewey

Peace Corps Country: Mongolia

Years of Service: 1992-1994

Volunteer Assignment: Small Business Development

Current Address: 2916 39th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310

Current Employment: Senior Media Planner, CMF&Z Advertising; I am also currently working on my MBA at the University of Iowa

What Did You Learn About People While You Were A Volunteer: I learned that you do not have to have a lot of money to make people feel welcome and included in your community. The Mongolians were so hospitable and so willing to give their time, helpful hands and encouragement. There was never once that I felt unwelcome in a Mongolian's home. My husband and I served in the Peace Corps together and we have tried to keep this hospitality concept top of mind. We try to make all people feel very welcomed into our home.

What Were You Able to Accomplish: I was fortunate enough to work in an Economic College. I worked with 10 other teachers in the marketing and management department. I designed a marketing and management curriculum for 250 students. In addition, I coordinated marketing plan competitions throughout the city, taught additional courses to other universities and public officials and taught aerobics to about 75 women. I also had the opportunity to help write and produce a television special about the state of the economy in Mongolia. This program was aired nationally.

Funniest Story From Your Experience: My funniest experience in Mongolia was close to the end of my service. I traveled out to the countryside via airplane to see my last Nadam. Nadam is a sporting competition that happens once a year. There are competitions in horse racing, wrestling and archery. I had connecting plane half way through my journey both ways. I made it to my destination with no problem, however, my return trip was not so easy. I made it to the first leg of my trip and then I had to wait for my connecting flight. Now, please remember that my connecting flight was not in an airport but in an open strip of land. I had my ticket and I was waiting to get on the plane when the ticket taker would not allow me on the plane. I said, "Why won’t you let me on?" She responded, "Because we are going to let a sheep on instead." I then retorted, "You must be kidding?" She said, "No, but another plane will be by to pick you up and other passengers that did not have tickets." I asked, "When will the plane arrive?" She said, "by 5 o’clock that afternoon." It finally arrived the following morning at about noon. It is funny now but frustrating at the time. It did remind that patience is a virtue.

How have you carried out the third goal of Peace Corps: I have had the opportunity to speak with many community groups and schools. I have also served on the Chicago Peace Corps Association and Iowa Peace Corps Association.

Has your Peace Corps experience changed your life: Peace Corps has given me the opportunity to see the moon from the other side of world. I appreciate the differences in people and love to hear about people’s backgrounds and cultures. I understand that life is about your experiences and the people you meet, not about your worldly possessions. I also understand how lucky people are in the United States. I try not to take such things as dependable transportation, access to food and proper healthcare and libraries for granted. Although, I hope to travel and live abroad again, there are a lot of wonderful attributes to the United States. setstats 1

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