Monday, November 24, 2008

The Joy of Teaching

While teaching comparatives and superlatives to my students I made some riddles to make it more interesting. After getting acquainted with the format, I asked them to make a riddle for me to solve. This is what I got from one of them:

First bee ate 3 buuz. Second bee ate 4 buuz. (buuz are steamed dumplings)

Which bee ate the least buuz? first bee or second bee? My answer: first bee

Which bee ate the most buuz? first bee or second bee? My answer: second bee

The student's reply: "wrong, bees do not eat buuz."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spices Galore!

Hello friends, family and other visitors. Just want to give all of you another update while I have all of this free time.

So this whole week was a vacation for the students and teachers after the completion of the first term. The students had their tests, teachers handed out grades, so I did the same. I gave all my fourth and fifth graders As and Bs. I weigh the grade mostly on homework, attendance, and tests, with a good portion of the final grade based upon the first two criterion. The fourth grade is the first year when the Mongolian students are exposed to the English language, so there is a gross difference between the advance child and the ones that are playing catch up. My fifth graders, to my delight are generally eager and quick to soak up the lessons, minus a few that has a longer learning curve.

Some of my 5th Graders

The mini break is a welcome change! I got to relax, catch up with other PCVs, and got the chance to play host to homeboy Rich from Khentii aimag. We chilled, I showed him the town and fed him beef (which he enjoyed very very much). Jasmine and Lindsay, our soum (village) PCVs also crashed my apt which made for a very cozy and entertaining time. The week definitely flew by...Next party, Thanksgiving in UB!
Package Received!

A special thanks to Mary O, Hall, and DMac for the package full of spices! Also, thanks Alex for the care package with the random assortment of goodies. Be sure to know that I will use every last bits of the garlic powder, Japanese curry, and the variety of other spices!



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hamburgers for Halloween!

So how do you celebrate Halloween in Mongolia? You play "pin the tail on the cat", bob for apples, and dress up in fun costumes. Well, thats what my students and I did for the occasion. The students made masks, some made costumes, others just came dressed as themselves. We bought candies and apples for the event, and handed it out to winners of the games. All in all, it was an easy, hassle-free, and fun time!

On Saturday I hosted a "Halloween party" for all the Dornod (province) PCVs. It was just an excuse for the seven of us to get together to eat, drink, and relax. I made curry and hamburgers which to my delight was feasted upon by John, the some-time vegetarian. Julie and Jasmine made potato salad which was a delicious complement to the burgers. Sarah baked a moist and most savory cake, and the others brought beer to lighten the mood. We ate, we drank, we had fun. No costumes, but it was just a good time to catch up with all the volunteers.

In continuation with the hamburger theme, I once again made the all-american food for my teacher and staff at the school who are also my students. Like all the schools in Mongolia, almost all the teachers and staff are women. So it was no surprise to see six females accompanying me to my house. There, I fired up the hot plate and started to heat the oil. The ladies helped slice the bread, cut the vegetables, and made the patties. We hung out, talked, cooked, and ate the burgers, and I my friends had effectively promoted cross-cultural exchange! boo yah, there you go Peace Corps.

Hamburgers for Halloween pictures!