Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Gabb!

For those of you who do not know Miss Gabrielle Baldwin, she is amazing and your lives are sad without her! Her friendship is the best thing to come out of college. (yeah, knowledge is great and all, but this girl is fab!) I love Gabb to much and am so pleased we are once again the same age. Now Jennie and I and Gabb are all 24 and all is right with the world again!

Internet in my ger is amazing! Although, I need to find a happy medium between using it an doing other things, like dishes and feeding my cat. This was the first weekend with it and I am hoping I can utilize more self control during the coming week. I got to speak to my dad and see him through his webcam briefly, which was great. I am looking forward to when my mom can get hers set up. Amazing friend Dylan has agreed to help her! What a nice guy. I am also uploading pictures to facebook and will put the link to them here, so even if aren't a facebook junkie you can see my goi (beautiful) pictures!

Thursday and Friday, sitemate Esayes, together with WorldVision, put on a great seminar for school social workers. My counterpart Tungaa and I attended and I think everyone got some good ideas and pointers on how to improve their work. Props to Esayes for organizing, Amber and Molly PCVs from UB for presenting, and another sitemate of mine who presented and I know did a good job, even though I missed that presentation. I missed it to accompany Molly and Amber to a few of Arvaikheers prime attractions. We visited BookBridge Library and ran into PCV Terrence who was stopping in Arv on his way to Hojirt to visit PCV Brandon. Brandon and Terrence are our "soumers." The live in soums, or small towns, ouside of Arv and come in for supplies and socializing periodically. We also have 3 girls in our Aimag that live in Khorhorin, but it is just a easy for them to go to UB, so we see them less. Soumers have been described as the red-headed step children of those of us who live in Aimag centers. Hahaha Anyway, so then the four of us headed to the museum. I hadn't been there yet, so I was just as excited as our visiters. Once we got them to come and open the door for us, it was even more awesome than I imagined.

Saturday we visited the Horse Monument and the Russian Friendship Monument. It was my first visit to the horse monument, which has a huge statue of the horse Arvaikheer is named after. What a famous horse. The Russian Friendship Monument was great. Really windy and cold, but it so beautiful up there. I also felt really friendly towards the Russians as usual.

Sunday, today, I am just hanging at home soaking up my new technology. I got to talk to my dad briefly and to the birthday girl, so I am happy. I need to eat the chicken breasts I bought in UB before it gets much warmer, so I am feasting on blackened chicken tonight. Then a shower and some reading and I am ready for the week!

I love you all! love, C

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Internet in Ger!

I now have internet in my ger. Thank you for everyone who helped make this possible. It took all afternoon, with 4 Mongolian men trying to hook it up, but it is here. So many new possibilities, I don't know what to do with myself. Woohoo!

In other news, I had a small grease fire on my stove last night. And then today, in the midst of the internet hook up, my stove pipe got clogged and my ger rapidly filled with coal smoke forcing everyone to evacuate. This gave the 4 four internet dudes something else to work on, and soon all was well. My mother recently reported that she has been smelling something burning at random times recently and we think it is because that is when I am making a fire. My friend Caroline called it maternal sinus symbiosis. She reports that when she farts, her mom gags. HAHAHA She is a person that I like.

Seminar this week at 1st school with a few PCVs presenting. I will let you know how it goes.

Also, the package was from my dear Aunt Casey with canned food and a magazine and coffee. Yum Yum. Still waiting for the duct tape purse with much anticipation.

I miss you all so much. If you have skype, send me your contact info. If you don't...get it! I love internet! love, C

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whirlwind UB visit

Ok, so Monday I visited my friend Uuganaa’s house for Tsagan Sar. We had a really great time and I think I managed to not make too many social faux pas. On the way home a dog decided to bark at me and start to chase me so I bent down to pick a rock to throw at the dog and bent my thumbnail back really far. Luckily I swore loud enough to scare the dog away, but unluckily my thumb was bleeding and pretty painful. Right after this happened our PCMO (medical officer) Amy called me to check on my cough. After complaining about my thumb, (I think to her amusement, bent fingernails are not usually reported to the PCMO, but it JUST happened!), she decided I needed to come to UB and et a chest x-ray and some breath tests to find out why I have been coughing for so long.

Half way between Arvaikheer and UB we usuallly stop at a Hotel/restaurant. Back before Christmas they had some sort of ceremony while I was there and took several pictures. I also had my cat with me at the time. This trip I discovered one of those pictures with the bus driver, the owner, me, and my cat is now enlarged and framed, hanging on the wall. I am famous! hahaha I arrived Tuesday afternoon and immediately ate at a new restaurant called American Burger and Fries which is owned by an ex-pat and is delicious. Unfortunately, I was feeling a little nauseous from the bus ride and I think the burger sent my stomach into shock after weeks of kimchi stir fry and peanut butter toast, and it dod not end up agreeing with me.

Wednesday, my birthday: I spent the morning at Peace Corps, talking to our PCMO (medical officer) and doing alot of waiting. I was very tired from not really sleeping the night before, so after a short nap in the lounge, I was ready to eat again. PCV friend Leila and I went to Luna Blanca of the famous peanut sauce soy nuggets, yum yum. She wanted to get a hair cut and I offered, so we headed back to my guest house and I cut her hair with the ktchen shears. It looked fab if i do say so myself, thanks to the girls at Great Clips for all those lessons! She had to get a pizza for her site mate Peter who was coming to town, so I went with her and got a pizza to go as well. Then a bunch of us PCVs watch New Moon with ridiculous subtitles. Near as we can tell the subtitles had been translated into chinese and back into english, and they no longer made-a the sense. There were several made up words, I love you was mostly translated as I love me, and werewolf was not sexual offender. Much hilarious!

Thursday, the PC staff were in meetings all day, so i met some PCVs for lunch back at American Burger and Fries (AB &F). This time my stomach was more prepared and everthing worked out great. The guy who owns it is really cool and gives volunteers 10% off. Leila took me shopping and I bought a new purple skirt which is amar goi! (very beautiful!) I spent the rest of the day on the internet and watching Julie and Julia which was pretty cute. I think I want to cut my hair like Amy Adams in that movie when I get back to freedom land. I want to see how long it can get in my time here.

Friday I met up with Paul, our other PCMO, and we went to the Korean Hospital where i had a chest xray and a spirometer test. I was pretty nervous as one of our fellow PCVs was told she had to go home the day before for respitory issues, but both tests were ok, not great, but ok. Paul took me to one of his favorite vegetarian restaurants in UB, The Stupa Cafe, which was delicious. There was a sweet cat at the restaurant too, unusual for Mongolia where people are not typically not cat fans. It made me miss my cat and I starting asking about when I could go home. One more exam at PC that afternoon and I was cleared to leave the next day. One of my sitemates was planning on going back the next day as well, so I would have a friend on the bus. I met up with some more PCVs that evening for kinda a goodbye for the PCV who was being sent home, then a late dinner with my sitemate who I haven't seen in weeks!.

I spent Saturday morning running a few last minute errands (Peanut Butter for Patrick! hahaha) and then met some PCVs for brunch. Alas, Nayra's was out fo bacon, but the pancakes were greasy and fabulous, and my left over birthday/valentine cookies were a big hit. Then it was time to get my stuff from Khongor Guest House and head to the bus. We had the only slow cab driver in Mongolia, but the bus didn't leave without us so all was well. The trip went fast, probably due to the benedryl I took as we left, (snore!). And then I was home.

Sunday i did laundry all morning, went to the post office, but it was closed, and went shopping for much needed food. I managed to get my package yesterday and I just got a text saying I have another! Woohoo! Mayhap from Uncle Dave with my long awaited hand-made Duct Tape Purse made and designed by my lovely cousin, Miss Iris Eve! We shall see. I think I got my american debit card activated which I means I can get money and hopefully get internet in my ger this week. That's right folks, high speed internet, no toilet. This is the life! love, C

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick and dirty

Quick update: I came to UB to see the medical staff and learn more about my cough and breaathing. Several tests later, everything seems ok, if not great, but I burn coal so what are you going to to. I am heading back to Arvaikheer tomorrow. I am very happy to go "home."

Ok there was the "quick" with more on this latest adventure to come later. Now I have to go to bed. But first, I found a book of jokes in the PC office so here is the "dirty."

Bob : "I know my wife is lying to me"
Tom: "How do you know that"
Bob: "She said she spent last night with her friend Sarah."
Tom: "So?"
Bob: "Last night, I was with Sarah!"

ok, that was terrible. sorry, love, C

Saturday, February 13, 2010

neck kisses

Today is the first day of the 3 day holiday that is Tsagan Sar. It is probably the biggest Mongolian holiday. All my plans are pretty vague still, but I will report back on how it goes.

Friday my sitemates and I celebrated my birthday. We ate food, played Monopoly, and sang Karaoke. We played the Here and Now Edition that comes with credit cards instead of cash which was weird, but we had a blast. I won. Hahahaha! Karaoke was a lot of fun as well.

Still coughing. I will probably have to go to UB to see the doctor after the holiday is over.

I just finished HP and the COSecrets last night. British people apparently say revise instead of study. Hahahaha. I don't know why I think the differences between the American and British editions of HP are so funny, but I do.

Aaron is the halogen LIGHT of my LIfE! HAHAHAHA

I like 6th Feet Under, but I skip the first scene of every episode. That is the part where someone dies. I just don't need it.

I miss you all so very much. Everyone give someone else a big kiss on the neck today. It will make you feel better. love, C

Hi Michele. I love you. Kiss Tina for me. On the neck. Hahaha!

love, C

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Everyday is like Sunday

when your sick and don't get out of bed and just sleep, read, and watch tv all day. Which is what I pretty much did last Tues -Fri. Gross. I am tired of being sick. Boo! complain. Boo.

I did feel well enough to climb the mountain (small hill) behind my ger yesterday. With some goats. I was tired afterward, but was it great.

Not much else going on here. I am trying to decide when to go visit Bayanhongor, which, like Rapid City, has a dinosaur park. It also has people I like and a vet. mmm, maybe March.

This a a dull blog. All sick and no play makes Caitlin's blog dull.

I love you all! You are the LIGHT of my LIFE! love, C