Sunday, October 3, 2010


Sitemate Joyce and I hanging out at VSO volunteer Ihab's birthday party.
Friday I went with sitemate Jo to the monastery across the street from my hashaa (yard where my ger is set up) to honor her daughter, Victoria, who died in a car crash four years ago. She gave money and matches to the monks, while our friend and monk Bataar explained. The monks were chanting and a few were playing some instruments. It was exactly music; Jo described it more of a "joyful noise unto the Lord." It was really nice, peaceful and beautiful, and I am glad Jo let me be with her. We spent the rest of the day just chatting and eating and baking a cake for the evening.

Saturday, an American Buddhist monk was visiting Arvaikheer, so we all went to his lecture at the theatre. Sitemates Jo, Babila, and Allison and myself got to speak with a few minutes prior to the talk. All during his guided meditation people's cell phones were going off. Turning off cell phones or even not talking while something is happening on stage, whether it be a monk's lecture, musical performance, or competition, is just not one of the social norms here.

Yesterday I had a laundry marathon. Jo has a Korean washing machine and has been nice enough to offer its use to me. It's so nice to not have to wring out bigger items, so I took her up on the offer Sunda afternoon. Sunday morning I did the light laundry by hand and then around noon took a sweatshirt, my pajamas, 2 duffel bags that have cat spray (not from my cat, she's a girl!) on them, as well as the two micro fleece blankets my dad sent me forever ago and have never been washed (ew)! You should have seen the water that was coming out of the machine. Pretty frickin gross. Jo has an apartment with running water of course, but laundry is still a bit of an effort. First you have to fill up the machine with water by filling a dipper of water and pouring the dipper into the machine about 40 times. Then the clothes and the soap. It takes about 40 minutes to do a full cycle, alternating between slight agitation and soaking. Then you have drain the machine into a tumpen (shallow large basin) my lifting the drain hose back and down repeatedly and stopping to dump the soiled water down the drain befrore it gets too heavy to lift. .Then you fill up the tumpen with clean water and rince the clothes one of the time before putting them, again one at a time, into the spinner. After hanging all the clothes, you must again drain the machine. Better than hand washing perhaps, but it uses far more water and of course I have to haul the clothes back and forth to Jo's place, a good 10 minute walk. I was so appalled by the water coming out of the machine, I can't believe I have been sleeping with those blanklets. They smell amazing now!

Tonight is another meeting if the Harry Potter Book Club! I can't wait! I also got 2 (TWO!) packages today from my wonderful Aunt Casey (Maureen to her grown-up friends). I so appreciate the People Magazine, the books, the food, and especially the SHAM-WOW!s HAHAHA!

It's been really warm the past few days, which is exciting, but it makes me slightly apprehensive. Like the calm before the storm. Winter is coming! However, my favorite store just got peach yogurt, so I am hoping they keep getting it throughout the winter, so I can eat frozen yogurt. Plus I will make ice. And make huge fires and drink iced coffee.

love, C

PS. There is a recipe for a Healthy Cobb Salad. I spent a good couple of minute laughing after I read it and realized the only ingredients I have access to are black pepper and water. Pepper water sounds pretty good! hahaha!


kate said...

Your hair looks great! Growing in, just in time for winter...

Deirdre said...

I am guessing the laundry is easier, but it doesn't sound much easier. And so nice of your pal to help you out with the big stuff.
So, are you all practicing guided meditation by trying to do it say, in the post office or something where it is really noisy, so it seems the same?
I think pepper water is an elixir of health. And vinegar. And spit. Spit and vinegar. That's what you got!
love you up and down and side to side. Inside and out. love love love, Mom!