Well, after all that official fuss about Moojie and Nita on the Mongolian side, US Customs didn’t even ask to see their papers, just waved me through. I thought to say, “Hey, come on, I glued the photos in their kitty passports myself!” but summoned my habitual distrust of authority, nodded, and schlepped the beasts over the border into their new homeland. Not that they showed any appreciation. Nita may have set some new world record by meowing in outraged protest for 27 continuous hours (thanks for the headphones and wide movie selection, Korean Air Lines!). At Dulles, The Mooj looked like he’d just stared into the chasm of hell itself and wasn’t speaking to, or perhaps even recognizing, me.
But they’re troopers, and recovered quickly with some overnight TLC at my sister’s, only to be stuffed back in their cages this morning for another long ride. I felt like I was delivering illicit contraband as I met their new foster mommy Crystal in the parking lot of The Mall at Columbia (MD) for the big transfer. I assured my little babies that they were going to the coolest summer camp, a house in 11 acres of woodland on a Chesapeake Bay inlet. Shoot, I wanted to stay there! They appeared unconvinced, but they’ll thank me some day, or some life. I’ll look in on their situation Thursday morning on my way to New England.
Now, on to much more serious matters. Many of you generously responded to my pleas earlier this year for help in getting my Mongolian friend to America and I’m sure have been wondering what happened. As it turned out, with our trip getting turned upside down with the passing of Penor Rinpoche, and other factors beyond my understanding, she was unable to meet my teacher. But this may not have been the most beneficial route for her. When I returned to Mongolia, she stayed (legally, having been given a six-month stamp at the border). Her internal situation had always been disturbed, but about 10 days ago, I learned she had a real breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric facility where she remains. In one way, this sounds like bad news, and of course she is suffering. On the other hand, if this had happened in Mongolia, there really would have been no adequate care for her. As it is, she is in many ways in the best possible situation to receive the care she needs. I’m working with friends and Mongolian Embassy officials to help as I’m able, but there may be little I can actually do at this point. To preserve her privacy, that’s probably the last I’ll say about this.
OK, seriously jet-lagged so I must stagger off in search of nourishment. More later.
Oh! Just quickly, the Mongolian edition of The Words of My Perfect Teacher turned out fantastic; the printer did an excellent job. As soon as I can get to a working camera, I'll show pix.