Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Post is Boring.

Salut!

I'm currently staying in a hostel overrun by French backpackers... I'm starting to get all these languages crossed.

So, I'm in UB... and it's magical. I bought soy milk. I can buy peppers and eggplant and popcorn and any type of bean I can think of (although I haven't seen garbanzo... I want me some hummus!), FRESH twix bars. There is REAL coffee, wireless internet, paved roads, restaurants with more than just huushuur on the menu, and alcohol selections that VARY. Oy. I'm so overwhelmed by the choices (I'm going to stand dumbfounded in the entry way to Jewel when come home).

Anyhow, this Thursday is Thanksgiving and Peace Corps is hosting a fantastic party, complete with turkey and pumpkin pie! I'm so so so pumped for it. Most PCV's claim it is the best meal they eat for 2 years.

Today, I am off to the Chinese Embassy to apply for a visa. I'm going to Hong Kong to visit with a dear friend and eat some yummy Chinese food in March. Real excited for that one. Also, I've been pickin up some awesome postcards and knick knacks so keep those eyes on your mailboxes! I am also about to head to a cozy little cafe to drink some delish coffee and pretend that I'm in a Starbucks in the States. I intend to take a bunch o pics today, so look out for a photo blog soon.

Well, that's what I'm up to now. Still rolling in the glory that is internet, so if you want to talk... I'm here!

Over and Out


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Catching on...

Dad, do you have an illegitimate Mongolian son?

video

"I'm Thankful for Family!!"

To quote the always classy Michelle,

Oh, how I love being a Kappel. Sometimes Mongolians will mistake us Americans for Russians. Not in this shirt.

Represent.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yanaa**

**Fiddlesticks.

I spent alot of time working on those google maps and it cut off half my picture. Click "View Larger Map" to see what I'm actually talking about.

**Phooey.

**Gosh Darn It to Heck.



Google Maps is da Best.


View Larger Map

So, this is Dariganga! Here we see Altan Ovoo, the sacred mountain (which is actually a volcano, turns out) I keep tellin y'all about. The big lake is Song Lake, named after it's guitar shape. That's where I went to take all the swan photos. The long river-y thing starts on the left with a natural spring and feeds into Song Lake. Those speckles to the left of the mountain is my town! My ger is the third speckle from the front.


This is the BU. That yellow line apparently suggests a road between my soum and the aimag, but I assure you there is no such thing. Also, the ride is just as exciting as it looks on this map (to anyone who has had the thrill of driving through Iowa... V - you know what I mean.)


The BU to UB. Again, the yellow line is deceptive. 2/3rds of this trip through the country on dirt roads. It's 12 hours, if you were wondering.


Mongorrrria. It's huge.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Little o' this, little o' that....

Some random photogs for you darlings back home.

The girl on the left is Anhaa, the other English teacher. She asked me to do a family portrait for them. So they get all decked out and gussied up and invite me into the photo, unshowered and in a t-shirt. Lovely. ...One of these things is not like the others...

My English Board. Guess which part I was in charge of.

Banner in my classroom. They are so proud of it... I haven't had to heart to tell them it isn't exactly correct...

Excerpt from an English textbook.

This is my school!

My counterpart's B-Day present to me - a Mongolian Magic 8-Ball. Those are the anklebones of sheep. Each side has its own corresponding animal. Here I show you all four animals... a horse, a camel, a goat, and sheep. You ask the bones a question and then roll them onto the mat. Then, figure out what you rolled and look up your answer on the sheet. The English is terrible so it's a pretty funny game.

Norman!


I got a puppy! My neighbor's dog had puppies and one day he came over with Norman and told me I could keep him! How precious is he???

Karen! Look at his collar!

This picture is way too cute.
He is such a terror when he is awake. But look at him when he is asleep!

His lil puppy bed. Still figuring it out.

awwwwwwwww

Trick or Treat!

It is customary to serve a dish of candy to every visitor in home, no matter the time of year. So basically every day is Halloween for Mongolian children. However, I love Halloween, so I did my best to educate my students on the most ridiculous holiday ever. I say ridiculous because I never really thought about the origins or reason behind Halloween until I had to teach it people who knew nothing about it. It is such an odd holiday... think about it.

Anyhow, I had a bunch of little knick knacks from America so I told my students if they came in costume they would get candy and a prize. Here's what I ended up with...

My spooky ger. Since we can't carve pumpkins, we drew pumpkins and hung them in my ger.

6 points on the creativity scale.

These guys didn't quite get it... they found some paint and painted each others faces. Funny, nonetheless.

Totally legit spiderman. 10 points right there.

Getting better...

Winners! This is Bomaa, Shinny, and Dilguun (all my neighbors... Shinny is Dilguun's mom). How awesome are they?

He's so scary!

I had many other trick or treaters and I think they enjoyed it. I got some pretty wild masks from some of the boy students. One guy came as a giant pumpkin. It was awesome. Perhaps next year we will have more time to prepare costumes!

To Aunt Dawn...

Thanks for the puzzle, Aunt Dawn!

Illinois!

Success!


Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

Me and my bestie went for a walk around town.

What a pro with those binoculars. Downtown Dariganga is directly behind Dilguun.

Stealth.
Part of the lake. I don't know what to call them, but it's fun to jump on them to see how far you can get before you fall in the lake.

Here, Dilguun is playing on the edges of a volcanic crater. Most legit game of Lava I've ever seen played.

Timmy!

The sun was in our eyes. Also, his hat, not mine.

Back in the BU

Why, hello!

I am back in the BU (Baruun-Urt, the aimag of Sukhbaatar), enjoying spending time with friends, internetting, and eating foods that are a variety of colors. It's fantastic.

Despite the assurance I get from my counterpart ("The animal sickness is getting better"), my soum is still under quarantine. It has affected my mail delivery, my fuel delivery, my food supply and now my school schedule. Twice I got called in on Saturday to teach classes . When I inquired why, I was told it was because of the animal sickness. Our week long break has also been extended a second week. And the week after that is a conference in UB for all the TEFL PCV's, so basically I have the next month off. I plan on going to visit my host family and tearing up UB for a while (burgers, internet, and good beer, oh my!). It will be so refreshing to get out of my ger and teeny tiny town.

Speaking of my ger, I absolutely dread going back to it after a month of not heating it.

I am with-internet for the next few weeks! Hop on skype or email me or facebook or ANYTHING because I will response, yippee!

Kisses, Sarah