I type you now after an exhausting two days of playing internet catch-up. 500 email deletions, 120 FB photo uploads, and 15 skype calls later, I am finally getting around to blogging.
So about my town.
Dariganga is a soum on the Chinese border, population 2000. It is a beautiful place. Many tourists stop through here in the summer to hike the sacred mountain and swim in the lovely lakes. There are a chain of lakes that all start at the natural spring just outside town.
But I have told you all this before.
Living in Dariganga has, thus far, been mostly pleasant. I still get the occasional gawks from strangers, but most people know about me now. I have made many friends with fellow teachers and shop owners and my students are always quick to greet me when they see me. All the shop owners know my habits and what I like to buy, so I sometimes get personalized calls from them letting me know something I like is in stock. Actually, for my birthday, my students went to the shops and asked what I always buy... I ended up with 7 of my favorite chocolate bars, bless their little hearts. I am willing to bet there are no more Alpine Gold bars left in town.
Currently, hoof in mouth disease is tearin apart this side of the country and the Mongolians are freakin. Fair enough since their livelihood depends on their animals. But as a result, they keep randomly putting my soum under quarantine. I almost didn't make it up here this weekend. For the first month I was here, no cars were allowed in or out... including mail services. That sucked. But when they opened the roads again, I was showered with letters and packages from all you lovely people (it means SO much to me to know you love and care about me). It was like Christmas! So if it takes a while for me to respond... that's why. :)
Life here is pretty slow. When I am not teaching I am writing letters, reading, or watching movies. There isn't exactly a night scene and most of my friends are married with children so I spend my weekends by myself. It's a very lonesome way to live, but I am confident that it'll get better with time. It's very nice to sneak up to the aimag capital to hang out with fellow PCVs, even if I only get to do it once every 2 months.
I love my site very much... it's just stunning and the people are great. It is certainly taking its toll on me being so isolated. I miss everyone very much and look forward to Thursdays (mail day!).
Oh. And the swans are here!