Monday, September 27, 2010

Harry Potter Book Club!

Last night we had our second meeting of the Advanced English Book Club. Around 15 people participated, which was an increase from last week's 8 or so. Last night we finished chapter 1, The Boy Who Lived. Everyone took turns reading aloud and everyone seemed to get what was happening. Even people who originally claimed to be too shy eventually were peer pressured into reading. This is one of the things that I am really excited about here in the beginning of my second year. We hold the club on Monday evenings in Book Bridge Library at my friend Uugaana's NGO, the Youth Development Center. The library has 4 copies of the first book. 2 are the American editions and 2 are the british, which doesn't make much a difference beyond a few word changes. During the club, 3 or 4 people gather around every book. So if you know anyone who had to buy a copy of the HP books for each of their children so they wouldn't have to fight over a single copy, but now really only need 1 around the house, we could definately use some more. It is so amazing to have a group of people come to something that you organized and want to be there and participate.

Other things I am excited for include:

88 Bikes Project! 100 Bikes have been ordered for kids in Arvaikheer and will arrive around Oct. 15s to be given out end of October or early November, when a rep from 88 bikes can come. A second project in Hojirt soum is already being planned.

Monglish Night:
Tuesdays at Loving Hut Vegan Restaurant. People can come and practice English and we (PCV and VSO vlounteers) practice our Mongolian (sort of!) Good food, good relationships, fun times.

Site Mates:
Awesome people!

love, C

Sunday, September 19, 2010


And so school begins! This is a little past my half-way point, but it is really the beginning of my second year as school is starting again. There has already been some successes and frustrations.

The bike guys, Dan and Jared of 88 Bikes, came at the end of August. They LOVED Mongolia and could see this becoming their "flagship" project. They will either come back themselves or send a volunteer in October to give 50 -100 kids in my town of Arvaikheer bikes. They are also working with a partner NGO to establish a bike shop and are planning on doing a second project in the nearby soum of Hojirt, which is where my frined Brandon lived for the past 2 years. Super excited about all this as you may imagine. Just a reminder, you can visit their website to learn more or donate. It is only 88 dollars to donate a bike and you recieve a picture of the recipient and other cool info.

My school got a flat screen tv from somewhere. They hung it outside of my office. There are no outlets in the hallway, so the drilled a pretty large hole in the wall to run the cord through into my office. It is loud. :(

Tonight will be the first meeting of my Advanced English Book Club. I am really excited about this. I feel that there are plenty of resources for people in Arv who want to learn English, but there are few resources for those people who already speak English, but want to get even better. There are some English Teachers, World Vision Employees, and others that I think will get a lot out of this club. We are going to read Harry Potter. A Harry Potter Book Club in Mongolia! I love it!

My new sitemates are amazing! I am having so much fum with them! We have three new PCVs in Arv and one new soumer who lives in a small town Guchin-Os a few hours outside of Arv. Jo is from Ohio and works at 1st school in town. She has two grown sons back home and comes from a social work background. She is hilarious, swears like a sailor, and has a lot to offer "based on her vast years of experience" Joyce is right out of college and is working as an English Teacher at Merged School, which is near my school. She is full of hysterical self (and others) depricating humor and we get along great. She is from Florida and so, I am sure, is looking very much forward to winter. Babila is a business volunteer from Baltimore. He is also uproariously funny and quite a good dancer! I think he is already working too hard; he is going to make me look bad! They join Allison and I in Arv. Erin is our new soumer. I haven't got to spend much time with her yet, but so far I find her sweet as pie. I think she might be coming into town today for the first time since heading to site!

Some other things I have going on are a "Monglish" night a vegan restaurant Loving Hut with sitemattes and anyone interested in practicing English/staring at foreigners. 2 Life Skills Clubs and one Life Skills class. A possible dance club and tutoring the students who will compete in the english olympics As well as an English Teachers group, time in the disabled stidents room, and actually some french tutoring! I will keep you updated as these things progress.

I hope you all are well. I want to give a shout out to Jennie Clare, my forever friend, who just married a wonderful man. (Justin? I LOVE Justin!) I can't wait for more pics!

love, C