Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy New Year! Or Merry Christmas? Whatever, it's all the same here anyway.

Happy New Year! Or Merry Christmas... Mongolian's don't really know the difference between these two holidays. They think it's just one big celebration spread out over a few days. Which, let's face it... is kind of accurate.

Fun Fact: so far, 2010 has been the shortest year of my life. 13 hours shorter than all the others... strange, eh?

My school had a big community shabang for the event (hosted on December 26th... most things here are a mystery to me) complete with dancing, singing, awkward games, sparklers, and booze (the last two compliment each other very well).

I decided that I do not take enough B&W photo's, so I switched it up this time. Though, it is a shame that you cannot see the prom-esque dresses in all their brightly colored and glittered glory. I looked like a hobo in comparison (but that is true on most days (how women remain clean and fabulous living in a desert without showers is COMPLETELY beyond me), but I digress...)

I got the evening started by playing some hot American tunes for everyb... this picture was most certainly staged (pun soooo intended).

When the Mongolian soldiers are not out fighting terrorists and enemy countries (i.e. always), they are hired out as live entertainment for New Year's parties, weddings, and birthdays.

Our Midnight Toast! Happy New Year!
(At 10:00 on December 26th)

My Haasha fam... Bajay and Shinee (Dilguun's ma and pa). I am a beast next to them.

Bunny Ears are universally funny!

Fellow teachers

The stage complete with the New Year's Christmas Tree!

Some impromptu karaoke

My counterpart, Anhaa

This man is training me to be a table tennis CHAMP. Also a volleyball champ. He's also training me to run the 4 by 4 and 100 meter dash in the sport competition later this year. I think he has a little too much faith in me.

Cake! Candy! Yak milk-based dairy product! Beer! Vodka!
Truly, a Mongolian Celebration.

In Mongolia, you spend the stroke of midnight in your ger with your family because how you ring in the New Year is believed to be how the rest of your year will go. So, if you spend it happy, healthy, safe in your home surrounded by family, you will spend the year living the same way.

Due to some questionable buutz, I spent New Year's puking into my tumpun. I hope that's not an omen...

Oh, and at our New Year's party, the Governor awarded me the "Best Foreign Teacher in Dariganga" award. Competition was tough, but I daresay it was well deserved :)

Many more pictures to come... I'm living large in the big city for the next week!

Big Gulps! Alright!
Well, See ya later!

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