Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bless Us, Everyone!

Friday, was quite the day! I have a club scheduled on 11 am that I have been calling theatre club for lack of a better name. We have been playing games mostly, but they have been asking to dance, so Friday I granted their requests. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I made a playlist on my iTunes of "rock out" songs, as Claire would say. We ended up not being able to use the bid speakers, but some computer speakers worked fine for us. There also happened to be some balloons in the cultural room that we played around with while dancing. I don't know where they came from and this is only the second time I have seen balloons in Mongolia. We "circle danced" for a while, did the train, and then I taught everybody a couple of jitterbugging moves that I learned in college. (Thanks Kat and Alex and Ceres and Farmhouse!) We finished off the hour with some trust falls, which are always a lot of fun. One student stood on the stage and fell backwards into our waiting arms.

I was told that later that day there would be a staff karaoke contest. I totally think this is something I need to bring back to America. I can just see the staff at Robbinsdale Elementary would be brilliant! I showed up a little bit before 5, but it ended up not starting until about 7:30. There were 5 groups of staff members that sand together and then about 8 solo acts. The judges would then hold up their score, 1-5. The only downside was the quality of the speakers and the intense volume. Kate, you never would have survived. After all the official acts they asked for more people to sing while the judged tallied the score. My counterpart Tungaa made me get up and sing the one Mongolian song I know, which is about a mothers milk tea. Unfortunately, it was not on the karaoke machine, so I had to sing it a cappella. They then wanted me to sing an American song. I picked the first song I knew, but they must have put the number in wrong, because what actually came on was Blue Suede Shoes, but no worries, I rocked it. Then I stood in front of the judges and cleared my throat, like they should give me a score too. Everyone laughed and the judges gave me two 5s! It was a good time, but I was very happy to go home.

Saturday I woke up early and did laundry (see previous post for description of this venture) while I watched Zombieland. Two thumbs up for that, (not too scary, funny, and just the right amount of blood). Then I had went to Loving Hut to meet a Mongolian woman Patrick knows who is moving to Canada and wants to learn a little bit of French. She ended up not being able to come, but Brandon and Esayes were there, so I didn't have to eat alone. Brandon and I then ran some errands (ATM and Bombat grocerie store) and then went back to my ger. He had some new movies and tv shows to give me. (Almost Famous, Bolt, Ice Age, Freaks and Geeks, and Summer Heights High (think The Office but set in a school in Australia with one guy playing the three characters that are the focus of the "documentary" It's pretty funny)) Then our friend Khandaa came over and we watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Thank you so much Aunt Kte, huge hit. We watched it with the subtitles on so Khandaa could catch everything. I honestly don't think she needed them, her English is so good.

Sunday I did dishes and took a shower in the morning. Here follows a PG description of my shower time routine.
Step one: fill water boiler and plug in, make roarin' fire. Watch episode of half hour show, i.e. Scrubs, Freaks and Geeks, Summer Heights High...)
Step two: fill 1/3 solar shower (again, thanks Aunt Kate!) with now boiled water, trying not to burn self (fail) fill another 1/3 of solar shower with cold water (which has to be put in the water boiler after the hot water is emptied, because that is the only way to get the water into the tiny solar shower whole, unless on day I break down and buy a funnel)
Step three: hang from ger pole and position blue plastic tumpen under. LOCK DOOR! Nakedness is eminent, you do not want Hashaa family/random Mongolians coming in.
Step four: Kneel next to tumpen on jacket and wash hair. The water need to be turned off whenever not using or it will run out before cleanliness is achieved. I use Shampoo+Conditioner, but do it twice so I am not really saving anytime. You just can rarely find conditioner. Wrap head in tiny camp towel.
Step five: crouch in tumpen, avoiding soaking the floor as much as possible, cleanse self.
Step six: wrap up in huge scratchy bio-degradable towel (Again! Thankd Aunt Kate! You rule!)
I hope the towel doesn't bio-degrade on me! hehehehe
Lately I have be braiding my hair right after I shower, which makes it easier to re-braid in the morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that. Then it is shower time again. Braided hair looks nice with hats, which I wear all the time nowadays. I usually shower on Sundays and Wednesdays. I actaually don't get as dirty as I thought I would, or maybe my standards have just changed. Arvaikheer (my town) does have a couple of shower houses available. I haven't used them because they cost around 3000 tugriks and after I am clean I would have to go outside to walk all the way home. I prefer my way which lets me avoid going outside with wet hair, although maybe this summer I will indulge myself.

Sunday afternoon, Brandon and Esayes and I ate at Loving Hut again (they now have pizza and burgers and apple pie and doughnuts~all vegan!) and then Khandaa gave us a ride to what the mongolians refer to as the "vatican" It is a very large haashaa (yard) with a nice building, 2 huge gers, and 2 small gers, a basketball court and soccer field. We met 2 Itallian priests and three sisters. They were very nice and gave us coffee cake (it made me miss my Grandma in Brookings!) I would like to go to mass once in a while if I can. It is in Mongolian and in one of the huge gers. It would probably be about an 80 minute walk for me so maybe I will wait until it gets a bit warmer.

Not much happened today (Monday) I made some calls to America this morning. My mom made it back to Rapid with my sisters, my grandmother, the dog and two kittens. Grandma will move into the assisted living place on tuesday, so I hope that all goes well. Kate will be going to Rapid with her truck and more of Grandma's things on Wednesday, so I hope the weather holds for her. Everything went well for my Grandpa Bill's funeral and the weather was nice so the roads were good for everyone who came. I also got to talk to my dad, my Aunt Sue, Aunt Casey, and my most wonderful third grade teacher Mrs. Dickschat. I had an English Club this morning, did some teacher training on project design, ate at Loving Hut again, (ok ok I can't cook!) had another English Club cancelled this afternoon and wrote this massive blog. (Blogzilla?) (Does this blog seem to have more parenthesis than normal? Is it excessive?)

I also had several homemade iced carmel machiattos over the past few days. Thanks Aunt Casey!

Tonight I hope to finsh my presents for the Darkhan secret santa and do more to get ready to go. Tomorrow more of the same, buy my bus ticket, maybe visit the ATM again. I leave Wednesday bright and early to go spend Christmas in Darkhan. I haven't been able to work out getting my cat to the vet, but I am taking her with me in hopes of maybe getting her seen on the way back. Mostly I just don't want to leave her on Christmas. Not that she knows, she is Mongolian, so probably a buddhist cat.


Caitlin Rose said...

Mom, does the weather and clock work? Merry Christmas! love, C

Deirdre said...

I am so tickled with your weather gadget and clock doohickey. It is the best Christmas present ever. In fact I am a little teary. Thank you so much. The weather thingy won't find Aviarheer, but found Zuumod. So I figure it is close enough and I am so happy to have this window into your world. You did it! For me! I am touched and so so appreciate it. I love you so.

Your post is brilliant. I hope you know how much I appreciate your efforts and hard work and time spent on these updates into your life. They bring me such pleasure and ease my worried heart.

I am so glad you are taking the kitty, who cares if she even knows it is Christmas. She is your person.

Our kitties enjoy their outings quite a bit. That is what I tell myself. I know Tremble does enjoy them being gone.

Today, buy a bed, bedding, a lamp and a Dr. appointment for my mom. She is still rolling with it pretty well. We will see.

Thanks again for the wonderful Christmas gifts of time and weather. Who would have ever thought, given my odd relationship with time, that you giving me time would be the best gift ever. Whack.

love, ma

kate said...

Happy Solstice! OMG do I need the sun to return. I think I will dance nekkid around a fire tonight to celebrate.
I decided to move from the Vague Yellow room to the Happy Yellow room. Since the sun is so low-slung, it is really bright. Brighter than in the summer, since the Silver Maple has shed her leaves.
I'm doing a quick turn-around of suitcases. I'm glad that I came back yesterday. An extra day at my little House On The West Side. Tres grounding.
I'm hoping to meet today or tomorrow with Umesh, a potential roommate. I sure have enjoyed living alone! But I cannot afford it. When I get back from Christmas I'm going to install carpet in the big graffiti room downstairs.
I relish reading your blog. It would be ramblings, in the hands of a lesser writer. But you are totally engaging, and I feel close to you.
My weather thing shows New York. Hm. I will have to figure that out from my end. I love the clock. And I have that picture of you printed, off Facebook! You are adorable.
ciao bella,

Caitlin Rose said...

on the weather doo-hicky, click the edit button and search for A Mongolia, and you should see it. i think they spell it Arvaheer. love, C

Natso said...

I love Freaks and geeks. Too bad they were cancelled. Great blog. keep it up.