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


kate said...

Oh, wow, that all sounds exhilarating! Dontcha just love the fall? So many new beginnings. I'm very excited to be going to Steamboat this week-end, for a nice three-day visit. And then Valley View hot springs next week-end. The nights are getting cold, which is perfect hot-springing weather! And it is making my tomatoes finally ripen! I'm so glad to hear about your new site-mates. This year will be better than the last, and hopefully the winter won't be so bloody cold!
I love you dearly!

Deirdre said...

I am so excited about the 88 bikes coming back. You worked very hard to help make this happen and I hope you are proud of yourself! I am sure that things have changed for the better. For sure they have been changed for good.

I love you. I think Robbinsdale could do a drive of some kind for your school or something. What do you need? The PTA could thing about that. I know the PTA. Or maybe even Central? Because what you need is another project. Shove shove, blink blink.

love, d

kate said...

I donated to 88bikes to support their, and your work! Bikes change lives! I just admire so much what you are doing.
The exhilaration of autumn continues. Steamboat was wonderful, and this week-end I will go to Valley View. It is so nice to feel so free, with the Jazz Fan quickly receding into a distant, meager chapter...

Caitlin Rose said...

you are the best site mate...thanks for being my friend