One of my favorite things about Gany is that she asks for what she wants. She even asks for what I want, which is exactly what I like in a friend.
When we were driving into the Mongolian countryside, we passed a small strip of desert. Some young boys were standing by the road with camel halters in hand. “We’re going to stop to go to the bathroom,” Gany explained, pointing to the hole in the ground surrounded on three sides by bright orange tarp. “Do you want to ride a camel? It’s three dollars.”
I stared greedily out the window. How fun! But…this was just a bathroom break. Gany and our driver wouldn’t want to wait while I rode a camel. My friend watched my face, opened the car door, and said, “I will hire a camel for you.”
The next Sunday, we were back in Ulaanbaatar at her church. A visiting group from the United States struck up a conversation with us. They mentioned how, after a week in the Gobi desert, they were going on a weekend retreat to Turtle Rock in Terelj. “We have no plans,” Gany said. “Can we go with you?”
“Oh, uh, I don’t know if we have enough yurts reserved…”
“Will you find out? How much is it? We want to go.”
I stood to the side, eyes shining in amazement. Gany was a force to be reckoned with, and I wanted to be her so badly. Especially when they altered their car and lodging reservations so that the two of us could join them.
At any time in your life, but especially when traveling, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want! Unique opportunities can appear without warning, and if you aren’t quick to express interest, they can very easily pass you by. Gany taught me to assert myself, and someday, I hope to be as bold as she is.