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: http://www.youtube.com/user/pcvjason#p/a/u/1/pzPNLq3kD50
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! :)