Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh yea...

Oh, and quick comment...

As I keep saying, I'm pretty damn isolated. That means letter/packages are going to take quite a bit of time to get to me. Plan ahead (cough cough my birthday cough).

Dapaa Uulzii!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Settling In...

Good Morning Everybody!

The results are in... I will be internetless in my soum until further notice. I will have internet access any time I travel up to the aimag center (which will probably once a month-ish.), but until those times you will have to send me lots of letters and packages to make me happy. I will ALWAYS write back.

Like I mentioned previously, I am now officially a Peace Corps Volunteer! We had a very nice swearing in ceremony complete with speeches in Mongolian and song/dance performances. I performed a dance with some of my training sitemates, but they started the song halfway through. We spent the majority of the dance looking bewildered and confused, but managed to finish with a bang. After that I performed an interpretive dance of sorts to a very popular Mongolian song: ЭЭЖИЙΗ ЧАΗСАΗ ЦАЙ. It's all about a son's love of his mother's boiled tea. I played the role of the mother. I'll let the video explain itself:

The next morning, I woke up early to head off to my site. We took a 12 hour bus ride to Baruun Urt, the aimag capital of Sukhbataar (the road was paved for maybe a third of the way) and I crashed at Katie's, my new sitemate's, apartment. The next day, I (and 12 other Mongolians) crammed into a Russian jeep (it has seating for 5) for a 6 hour trip to Dariganga, my new home. I was exhausted to say the least (we rolled in at about 3:00 am), but I was greeted with buutz (a traditional Mongolian meal) and quite the welcoming party. I have been settling in ever since. I am now back at the aimag capital (my counterpart wanted to go shopping), but I will be heading to Dariganga later today.

My ger is SUPER tiny, but quaint and I ahve plastered it with the pictures and trinkets and whatnot I brought with me. Feel free to send me pretty things to decorate my ger with :)

That is a super quick and brief update of my life, which is really all I have time for now. Sorry, I don't have any pictures for you all, but I will definitely post some next time I am back in Baruun Urt.

As always, I miss and love you all alot. If you want my phone number... contact my parents and they can tell you how/when to call me! I'd be thrilled if you did!


Oh, and some fun facts I recently learned about Peace Corps Mongolia:
- PC Mongolia is the ONLY Peace Corps country to issue sleeping bags (because it's that cold)
- PC Mongolia was ranked the 2nd hardest country to serve in. The hardest country to serve in (some African country)'s program closed down last year, which makes Mongolia number 1.
- PC Mongolia is one of the only countries to issue cell phones because volunteers are so spread out and isolated.
- Mongolian is considered one of the hardest languages that Peace Corps teaches.

Fun Stuff! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Internet bahqui!

Bad News.

I have been informed that my training site does not have internet and I am still unsure of the possibilities of acquiring internet for myself. I probably won't know for another week or so. But, I wouldn't hold your breath that contacting me via internet is going to be a possibility.

That being said, don't use the previous Ulaanbataar address. The new one is listed in the post below.

I swore in today! I am officially a Peace Corps Volunteer! I leave tomorrow for my new home and school starts September 1st. I also have a phone now, so if you are interested, I can give you the number and you can skype me that way. Just let me know!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Site Placement and Moving On!

Hey guys!

I come to you from a cute little internet cafe in Ulaanbataar city, just days before I swear in as a Peace Corps volunteer! Life is very exciting right now.

I got my site placement (Dariganga soum in Sukhbataar aimag: It's a apparently an unknown oasis in eastern Mongolia. I am VERY excited. A huge swan migration comes through my town twice a year, it is apparently riddled with small lakes, the Gobi starts a mere 10 minute walk away (sand dune jumping, anyone?), and has one of the most sacred mountains in Mongolia (unfortunately, because it is sacred, women can't climb it). I've been told numerous times that I have totally lucked out with my site placement.

I will be living in a ger and teaching at a school of about 500 students. I am 5 hours from the nearest volunteer. This is the real thing. I am in for quite the experience.

So here are some pictures to entertain you all. I miss you very much and want some letters! Oh speaking of letters, you can send stuff to Me, Sukhbataar Soum, Dariganga Aimag, Mongolia (via China). Simple, no?

Look! I'm a teacher!

Typical Americans. Must. Make. Pizza.

The BEST training site ever.

My little DYY, Dawaa

Weather is so amazing here. I can watch an entire storm cell move across the sky while standing in the sun.
I learned and performed a Mongolian dance for the community! Video coming soon...

Andrew, a dear good sitemate, looking awesome in his traditional dell.

Props to Carolyn. Best picture I've seen yet. (PS this is a ger... I will be living in that!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Site Placement!

I'm in Sukhbataar aimag in Daringanga soum!

More later....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Long time no internet, eh? I am alive and rest assured the frequency and quality of posts will improve drastically in just two short weeks.

So, PST is quickly coming to a close... we move out of host community this Sunday and find out where we will be working for the next two years. I am getting very excited and super nervous to find out about where I'll be placed.

The internet seems to be putzing in and out. I'm going to call it quits for now and I'll have more pictures for you next post. Plus, I'll have my site placement!

Love and miss you all terribly,


PS- I have recieved letters and packages from a few of you and I cannot thank you enough. They mean SOOOO much to me.