Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summatime and the livin's easy... er.

Hey homeskillets.

Welp, the time has come to return to my soum sweet soum. This Wednesday, our camp starts which is shapin up to be the coolest camp of all-time (if all goes according to plan, the camp will end in an english song Glee-off at the talent show).

Until next time, please remember that while it may be sweltering outside, at least you have air-conditioning.

(And on that note, please hold off sending me chocolate until October).

Three cheers for summer,

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's because I'm white, isn't it?

And the scores are in!

Dariganga did not win the sports competition. BUT we did compete our little hearts out and put up a good fight.

The competition was 3 days longs and included volleyball, aerobics, tango, singing (it's a mystery to me too), and track. There were 14 teams competing from the aimag center and the soums in Sukhbataar. Everybody had sweet team outfits (us included) and flags and game faces on.

So volleyball started on Friday, but a half hour into the first game the electricity went out and stayed out so everything was postponed until Saturday. Within that first half hour, though, I managed to take a volleyball to the face and am currently rocking a sweet black eye. Thank whatever deity was watching out for me that my glasses didn't break.

The next day, we woke at 6 (dear god) and started up games again. We lost our first game, but won the next three. I won the respect of the other Mongolians for being a volleyball superstar (that or for being white... who cares... at one point people were chanting my name!) Later that evening, we were in the 3rd place championship bracket, but we pretty much got slaughtered by this beast of a Mongolian who NEVER made a mistake. Seriously, it was unbelievable.

We took 5th in volleyball... not too shabby.

The next day we had to squash in the rest of the competitions since Friday night was a bust. We began aerobics at 8. Now, I thought our routine was pretty dang good. We worked out to "Beautiful Life" by Ace of Base (and yes, that was TOTALLY my idea). I also choreographed the routine and was fairly sure we'd be a serious consideration for top 3.

Jesus Christ, was I wrong. The teams from the aimag had hula hoops and steps and did aerials. They completely outdid us. We got 8th. Ouch.

Later, my beautiful co-workers performed their tango routine flawlessly and took home the bronze.

We came in last for the singing... woops. (Though, not to put my team down, but I'm still puzzled as to why they chose the woman they did... she was real bad.)

And finally, running. I was running the 4x4, the 400m, and the 100m. I got third in the 400m and my team got third in the 4x4. But, as I was lining up to do the 100, all hell broke lose. Teams were pissed because I was competing so much. Apparently there was a 3 sport rule... You could only compete in 3 categories and I had already been in 4. Anyhow, my director pointed out that many Mongolians had competed in more than 3 sports, but no one had noticed.

Let's face it. It's because I'm white.

But, still, I didn't run the 100 and I got DQed from the other races so I didn't get my medals. It didn't really matter though because Dariganga wasn't going to win, regardless.

That night we had a kickin awards ceremony where I was given an award for doing good things in our aimag. Or maybe it's because I'm white. Whatevs, though... I got a sweet certificate!

So, that... is that. It was a grand old time, but boy am I glad it's over. Now onto SUMMER!!

Setting: 7:30 am at the base of the holy mountain on the Thursday we left for the aimag. We were throwing some rice and milk on the holy ovoo for good luck. Amraa is holding our sweet Dariganga flag, while Erka pours him a shot of vodka... also for good luck (let me reiterate... 7:30 am)

The group looking as serious as ever.

So I barely took any pictures at the competition itself. I apologize. This picture is the aerobics team performing in our sweet get-ups for Mothers' and Children's Day in my soum. And of course, they stuck me in front... because I'm white.

The group again. This time we are on Sukhbataar Square, looking fly and waiting to play some volleyball.

My counterpart, Zolaa, has the most beautiful family. This here is Atzaa. He is the best most darling child I've ever met.

Third Place Tango winners! How fabulous are they?

Zolaa's other child, Nymaa. Seriously, most beautiful family in the world.

ANOTHER group shot!

And for your viewing pleasure, the tango routine!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One down, One to go


I started writing a nice thoughtful post about how I felt one year ago, my hesitations and excitements, but frankly, that ain't me. I think that first exclamation accurately and rather thoroughly describes how I feel about the whole deal.

Seriously. Holy Crap.

Right now, 70 some nervous and excited Americans are on their way to Mongolia to start their service as M-22s (the 22 group of volunteers in Mongolia). Caaarazzzy! (Can't wait to meet all of you!)

Also, a group of accomplished and probably exhausted Americans are getting ready to head back to their States after their 2 year service is finished. (Already miss you all!)

It's a weird time to be an M-21 (that's me). We ae losing some very dear friends and (frighteningly) becoming the figures of authority to the newbies. I certainly don't feel qualified for giving advice for Mongolian survival. I still am trying to learn the ropes of ger living. Also, with the M-2os headed home, it has gotten me thinking about how amazing it must feel to see all the people you love after 2 years abroad.

I've been missing you all alot lately.

ANYHOW. I'm in the aimag now, getting ready to finally compete in this sports competition that e have been training our asses off for for the last month. I found out this morning that the sports complex in the aimag opens at 5:30 am.

So, wish me luck!

Before we hit the road, we conjured up some luck from the holy mountain.