Saturday, April 26, 2008

For those first care packages...

Straight out of the Peace Corps Mongolia welcome book;
"Mail to Mongolia generally takes two to four weeks to arrive, and some mail may never arrive. Occasionally, letters may arrive with clipped edges because someone has tried to see if any money was inside."
Awesome! ahahhaha. But from what I hear from current PCVs in the country, the system is not that bad as long as you label your letters/package and include the word "airmail" on the envelopes. Oh, and the address provided now will only be in use for the first three months in Mongolia, while I am in my training phase, hence the PCT (Peace Corps Trainee) after my name. After our training, we will be ship out to our respective cities and have new mailing addresses.

Address in English:

Trinh Thach, PCT
Post Office Box 1036
Central Post Office
Ulaanbaatar 13
Mongolia (via China)

In Cyrillic:

Trinh Thach, PCT
Энх Танвны Корпус
Тов Шуудан
Шуудангийи хайрцаг 1036
Улаанбаатар 13
Монгол Улс
Mongolia (via China)


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lost in Transit

I took a break from the monotony of working everyday this past weekend for a Boston trip. It was good times to say the least. Had an opportunity to hit up Tufts U. and chill with the undergraduates, say my last good byes before I head off to Mongolia. Along the way, went paintballing with the '07 homies, had some drinks, smoked some cigars, and played with Baxter (Reuben's dog). I would post pictures of all the awesomeness, but during my ride from Boston to Worcester, my camera was some how lost in transit.

So I guess I have to add another item to the packing list, a new camera! Pictured below is the Canon SD750, my newest toy. Its a beauty! We will see how it holds up to Mongolia's weather.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Packing for a 27 Month Camping Trip

So what do you need to prepare for a two and some odd years of service in a country that is known for bone chilling and debilitating cold weather? Thankfully the Peace Corps Mongolia office was nice enough to make a list for us. Some of the items were a given, while others I would not have thought of bringing along if it wasn't for the heads up from PC Mongolia.

My Packing List:
  • Sleeping Bag – Peace Corps provides for it.
  • Handy dandy Swiss Army Knife – To cut/gut my prey. I tried it out already, and I must say I am very impressed with all the tools that they packed in there. And the knife itself is sharp as hell. Bonus package of can opener+bottle opener+corkscrew!
  • Duct Tape – The most versatile product ever, you never know when you will need it.
  • Long Underwear (Tops+Bottoms) – To battle the cold. Got two pairs to try em out, and it works wonderfully well in the New England winter. Looking to get these in the near future, I hear wool is a better product to use in Mongolia.
  • Wool Socks & Gloves - Warm feet and warm hands = happy volunteer.
  • Variety of Spices – Can’t eat a goat without seasoning and spices.
  • Mongolian Grammar/Dictionary – For obvious reasons.
  • New Jeans – Its ok to have holes on your jeans in the US, not so in Mongolia.
  • Nalgene - Broke my last one.
  • Plastic Storage Bags - Thats what the PC suggests.
  • Flashlight - You never know when you need it...
  • Playing Cards - There are oh so many possibilities! ahahha

Teaching Supplies - I am taking donations!

  • Children’s Book - What better way to teach the language than introducing them to Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, and hits like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Catalogs - Projects and activities.
  • Erasers - Obvious
  • Index Cards - Apparently they don't have them in Mongolia.
I'm sure I am going to add more to the list... but thats all for now.