Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nuhkt again

Well I made it back from UB! I was going to wait until tomorrow to come back, but decided to leave early so I could meet with some VSO people in Arvaikheer tonight. It was canceled. Oh well, it is cheaper to be in Arvaikheer than UB anyhoo.

My trip to the city was super fun. The first night I met up with a few PCVs and we ran into I think the entire population of ex-pats in UB who were on a St. Pat's Day Pub Crawl. A few of us joined in and much fun was had. The night wrapped up on a good note with me winning 2nd place, and a pair of NEW socks, in the Irish Jig Contest! It is my heretige after all.

Khongor, the guest house I usually stay it, was under construction and perhaps not the best choice of places to stay, but some of us did anyway. It is going to be amazing when it is done, but walking from the shower to the room, avoiding the wet cement and the workers was a little awkward. Hahaha

Sunday, I finally got to Michelle's, the French Bakery, but alas, the owner was not there so I did not get to practice my French. I did get to practice my Mocha drinking and Panini eating, but I have always been a star at those skills anyway. I probably would've embarassed myself with the French owner and thrown in some Mongolian. Mon Deau!

Later I may have gone to see Avatar again with a group of people. I mostly went for the popcorn. Which was awesome. That night a bunch of us PCVs tried to go to a Thai restaurant, but it was closed, so we ended up at an Indian place. I had gone there in December for a PCVs birthday, so I tried something new. We also got to sit under a tent on cushians araund a table, so that was super cool.

Monday morning we headed to Nukht for the seminar. I woke up really nauseaus, which wasn't helped by the bus ride there. Two hours and about a gollon of water later I felt much better. The week was a bit of a blur. We had example life skills sessions and practice seesions for our Mongolian CPs. We also got started on our grant proposals for doing these lessons at camp and continuing it on afterwards. Our camp in Overkhungai Aimag costs about 50,000 Tugruks per camper. That is about $35 and pays for a week of food, lodging, everything. We are applying for a grant mostly for scholarships for disadvantaged students who normally can't go. The rest of the grant funds will go towards supplies such as flip chart paper, markers, pens, notebooks, and maybe some stools for the youth development room at my school. It is really hard to do life skills when everyone has to stand the whole time. I am really excited about this project and really want to keep it going after camp and after the funding. I want to train peer trainers so that my CPs Tunga and Tuul and the peer trainers can carry on after I go back to the land of refridgerators and MTV. (I want my, I want my...)

Of course, the week wasn't all work. We played games in the evenings and watched several episodes of GLEE. I took a few baths (ahhh!) and a bunch of us went sledding one evening. WE didn't have sleds, so we used plastic bags and the folders we were using to keep all our handouts in. It was great fun. Some of the Mongolians were really fearless, trying to ski down on folders and pushing each other to go faster.

Friday afternoon we headed back into UB. On the bus everyone had fun making fun of me for not knowing any famous sport people who are not retired and decided what to eat for dinner. After getting various errands done at Peace Corps (Paul, I need Dramamine!) we dropped our stuff of at UB Guesthouse. This was my first time staying somewhere in UB not at Khongor. UB GH is nice, although I still love my Khongor. The showers are bigger at UB and the dorm beds are softer, but it is 2000 T more a night and then make you make your own bed. I never got the duvet cover on my comforter, it was too hard. Also they have a lot of rules. No TV after 11, no one other than paying guests allowed in the dorm, the door locks at midnight so don't be out after then... They are too bossy. I will be happy when I come to UB again, (end of May?) and can stay at Khongor. Plus they know and like me and are running the tour for when my mom and aunts come.

Ashlee and I went shopping before dinner. At Mercury I bought lemon juice, tabassco sauce, curry powder, and BACON. At Good Price I bought Teddy Grahams, which I am eating as I type this. Ashlee said he had to buy Listerine and for a minute I couldn't think what that was. It is mouthwash, not toilet bowl cleaner. That would be dumb, they don't have a toilet. Although, in my defense, they are the same color.

Ashlee and I went to Millie's for dinner. I had never been there and it is her favorite place. I wanted to go t American Burger and fries, but eventually gave in. We ended up sitting there for a long time because we thought other people were going to meet us. They were waiting for us at the guest house. Long story short, I drank expensive coffee and we read boring magazines outloud to each other, ate Teddy Grahams, and finally ordered without them. It was actually fun and they other people ended up elsewhere, so all was well.

Saturday I was able to get a seat on the 8 am bus back to Arv. My iPod had been running all night and was out of power. Sad story. However, after the seminar and being UB, I hadn't really slept well in about a week, so I was pretty much passed out the whole time. At one point I did wake up to the Lambada music video playing on the bus tv. I grew up with that song as the house cleaning song and had a few seconds of "where the heck am I and what year is it" feelings. Very Twilight Zone.

Today was laundry and climbing a mountain and finally sitting down to write this blog. Also, I have been trying to distill water all day. I hope it isn't broken. Whatever will I drink? Yesterday, my toaster oven wouldn't work, but I fixed it. Maybe I can fix the distiller as well. In the mean time I am drinking orange fanta. The 45 degree weather and the triple peanut I found were the best things that happened to me today. How about you?

Also, some pics.

love, C


Camber Carpenter said...

I'm totally staying at Khongor when I get to UB this summer/fall-ish time. Will they tour me around, too? I'm going to drop your name all over that place.

I really like this post. I felt like I was there with you in a creepy way.

Trying to seriously figure out when I'll get to the other side of the Wall...which, by the way, I didn't see you there last weekend--I had so many M&Ms to throw at you. Hurt aside, I'm thinking I can get there in August; how does that work for you? You can be honest and say, whatever bitch, try again. And I will. And I'll still love you.

Caitlin Rose said...

My mom and her 2 sisters are coming in for most of August. That doesn't mean you can't come and meet us wherever we are at the time. July won't work? I am working at a summer camp probably like the 12th-25th, but who knows exactly. Organization is not our strong suit here. You could summer camp too! My family will leave around the 22nd of Aug, so you could come after that. Basically whenever you can come we will work it out.

I tried to go to the wall and get some M&Ms thrown at me, but I was captured by pirates. Also, did you have a baby in Beijing or what?

love, C

Marnova said...

I love the Khongor GH too :-) Say hello to Toroo and Degi from Marie next time you're there - they will know me :-) Happy adventures!

kate said...

Yay! Here you are! Nice to hear your chronicle. We are in Rocky Mtn spring! skis/bike/skis/bike. I can scarcely wait to garden.
My godmother died. I don't think you knew her, but probably heard stories about her -- Katherine Alfred, who was 104 years old. Imagine, all the things she has seen change in her lifetime! I'm taking Aunt Pat to the services today. I was named after her. She provided some of my favorite childhood memories.
John the Jazz Fan is good. Not a good salsa dancer, though. He was brave to try a lesson last night, and as a drummer, I thought he would do well. But he did not, and he withdrew to a distant land.

I'm putting together a treasure hunt for Jackie and Kaela again this year. The clues will be even harder than ever. I love Easter. I love coffee.
And I love you!!