Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cribs: Mongolia

Sorry for the lapse in postings but there is this whole teaching thing that I'm doing...

I talked about my house in one of my previous post, so to give you some visuals, we will go on a virtual tour of my posh (ahhaha, I only wish) apartment.

Follow the link: Cribs: Mongolia Edition!

I leave you with a song by one of my students: the one on the red, his name is Rich!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

60th Anniversary

The first month of the new school year was centered around the planning of our school’s 60th anniversary celebration. Teaching was almost non-existent as both teachers and students were all busying themselves with their own assigned tasks. Teachers were making banners, posters, and beautifying the school. Students were clearing the school field, practicing their songs and dance, and following the beat of the drum as they march to Soviet style formations. The result was an intense 2 days of celebration.

The first day was the opening ceremony with all the pomp and circumstances. Everybody in town came to the school: past teachers, alumnus, and all the townspeople. It was a rare opportunity for everyone to see each other again. They were treated to music by the Dornod aimag Army band along with songs and dances performed by teachers and students. In the afternoon, it was time to showcase one of Mongolia’s national pastimes; the volleyball competition. As with my other posts, I will reiterate the fact that these kids are ridiculously good at the sport. And as with any other competition in this country, certificates and medals always follow at the end. At night, the party moved to the gym where platters of salad, bread, fruits, and horhog (real Mongolian BBQ) awaited the guests. There was once again singing and dancing throughout the night, occasionally interrupted when each class presented their gift to the school for the 60th anniversary. Gifts ranged from big stuffed teddy bears to traditional Mongolian instruments, to television sets and high end camcorders.

The second day of the celebration started off with a concert directed by the school’s music teacher. But before the performance, I had to sit through two excruciating hours of certificate and medal giving ceremony. It seemed like everyone was getting a medal except for me. After two hours of agony and boredom, the concert began. The performers were students from 5th to 11th grade. They sang and danced to traditional Mongolian music, Russian songs, and there was even an homage to Backstreet Boys’ “I want it that way.”

Following the concert there was a reception at a popular restaurant in the aimag (provincial) center. There, the vodka flowed and the music swayed all the alcohol induced Mongolians to a rhythmic dance. Even I stepped on the dance floor to try my hand at the Mongolian waltz. One step left, one step right, left, right, left, right, and then spin til you can’t tell if the dizziness was caused by the excessive alcohol consumption of vodka or just plain old dancing.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!

So I've been getting a lot of inquiries into things that I may need in Mongolia. In short, everything is great here. The only special request that I can think of is for spices! Yes, abundant in America...but the culinary cuisines of Mongolia boils down to 5 or 6 different dishes, so the need for spices is minimal at best. Below is my address and a wish list of items that keep my taste buds somewhat satisfied. Oh, and send the package using USPS Flat Rate Boxes!!, I hear anything over 8lbs will save you a bunch of money.

Trinh Thach, PCT
Dornod Aimag, Herlen Soum
Secondary School #2
via China

Wish List:

Garlic Powder
Garlic Onion Medley
“Season All” Seasoned Salt
Garlic Salt
And any other spices you think is worth sending.