Monday, February 9, 2009

Don't Worry, I'm Still Alive

Sorry for the absence and irregularity of postings. Nothing new really from this side of the world. The weather is still cold, but surprisingly we have had sun shine and a lack of winds for the last 2 or 3 weeks. We have passed the coldest part of the Mongolian winter and much to my delight, it was not nearly as devastating as I thought it would be. The snow is beginning to melt, and I'm not falling on my ass every time I walk on dangerously un-shoveled ice.

Work is good as usual. Social life is good. I'm happy... And now, a list of things of interest because I'm too lazy to write coherent and thoughtful sentences anymore.

- 1 Week off in January: Elaine (Sukhbaatar PCV) and Lindsay came to the aimag. We ate out, cooked, watched innumerable episodes of "The Office." Good times!

- Teacher's Day: a 2 or 3 day celebration where students get to play the role of teacher, director, or administrator of the school and culminates in yet another drunken party (without the students).

- Life Skills Seminar: Alex and Travis (Sukhbaatar PCVs) came to Dornod with health specialists from PC. Had a seminar, took them out to get pizza and goboroo! In return, I got 110+ gigabytes of movies and tv shows! Life is sweet.

- Access: I've been administering an aimag-wide test for 8th graders that wants to join an exclusive English class that is taught by PCVs and Mongolian teachers at our aimag library. Started with 83 applications. Picked out the best 40 students judging by their grades, personal statement, and reccomendation. 40 students take a test, best 20 then goes on to an oral exam. Then from the 20, we pick 10 based on their test scores and financial burden.

Mongolia Observations:

- Mongolian made boots are really warm! best 40,000T that I've spent thus far.
- Mongolian students go to school on Saturdays. Why you ask? Extra classes, meet up with friends, what else is there to do?
- Mongolians love medals and certificates. Maybe a remnant of Soviet influence, but every formal event has a portion that is dedicated to the handing out of medals and awards.
- Mongolians love 80s and 90s music. Examples; Last Christmas, anything ABBA, Westlife... the list goes on.
- When gum is not being chewed, it is put into ears as a reserve for another time.
- Makeup is not only for girls.


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