Friday, September 6, 2013

It's oooover

Dear Blog,

I'm done. COSed. I'm now in Israel eating hummus and getting tan. Sorry the blog finished so lame-like!

I will now leave you with a tumblr post:



Friday, May 31, 2013

You know those days when you want to just choose to not get out of bed, you're lost in your head again

Love FTP!

So I've decided to mercy kill the blog when I finish my service.... I actually have a new one already (ha) that will be able to show off my photos better. More info on that later.

3 months to go... I'm pretty ready! You can tell I have nothing more to say, since my posts seem to be getting shorter and shorter.

The new M24s are coming in tonight. I'm starting to feel old. It will be THREE years since I came to Mongolia on June 5th. Crazy how fast the years have gone.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It doesn't matter if I take my time... I'm coming home

Once I get up I feel better
And I pull myself together
I remember those two letters
It will be O.K.

Love Mika!

Annnnyway! I suppose I can announce it now- my final day at Peace Corps will be August 30th. I can't believe that in 4 months, I'll be finished with this wild ride and I'll be unemployed again :)

August 30th will also be the day I head off to Israel for the whole month of September, then I'm going on a half-world adventure with my mommy. We hope to be back in the mitten by late December/Early January.

Soon after I get back, I'll be DC bound! I've already started to look at hospitals, but I need to do all that job search related stuff... resumes, cover letters, etc. Bleh.

OH and picture of Nathan's wedding soon to come... I'm thinking about moving this blog to a more picture-friendly one. We'll see.

IT'S GONNA BE MAY! Yeaahhh :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Game of Firsts

In honor of one of my favorite shows coming back on the air this Sunday (Game of Thrones), I've decided to do a bit of reflection in this post.

As you (might) know, my service is coming to a close pretty fast. My official "release" date (...that makes me sound like I'm in a prison, doesn't it?) is August 30th. From there, it will be travel travel travel, then work work work.

Even though I've been back to the US before, I'm starting to get a little anxious about real "adjustment". What do you mean I have to show up to meetings on time? So you're saying I can't leave work whenever I have errands to run? Why can't I check out how much you have in your bank account at the ATM... isn't not like I'm going to steal your money.

Anyway, at some point I started realizing that Peace Corps was probably one of the best decisions I've made (that, and nursing school). I also realized that there were SO many things that I did here that were a "first" in my life. So for the past couple weeks, I've made a list of "firsts":

In Peace Corps, it's been my first time...
1) Living in Asia
2) Eating horse
3) Milking a cow
4) Feeding baby animals
5) Watching someone kill an animal... and then eat it.
6) Auditioning for a play
7) Writing a grant (and many more!)
8) Watching a horse race
9) Running in a 10k race
10) Going to a Buddhist monastery
11) Knitting a scarf (or knitting anything, really)
12) Teaching nurses
13) Teaching English
14) Experiencing/surviving -40 C/F weather
15) Chasing deer in a land cruiser
16) Eating sushi in a land-locked country
17) Conducting trainings in 2 languages
18) Being able to talk and understand in another language
19) Getting my wallet stolen (haha)
20) Going without hot water for 1.5 years (bucket baths!), and realizing you can get used to ANYTHING
21) Living in the biggest city I've ever lived in: Ulaanbaatar (>1,000,000)
22) Living in the smallest city (village?) I've ever lived in: Baruun-Urt (~15,000)
23) Riding in the smallest airplane I've ever been in (~15 people)
24) Doing laundry by hand
25) Participating in a Habitat for Humanity build
26) Leading and organizing seminars
27) Eating marmot (YUMM)
28) Learning how to cook with very limited ingredients
29) Being a councilor at a children's camp
30) Surviving countless 12 hour bus rides... without throwing up!

I know there are MANY more to add to that list, but a lot of the other ones I wrote have to do with the amazing culture I've been integrated in for the past 3 years. I'm hoping to add a couple more this summer when I go up north to see the reindeer people for a health seminar. We have to travel by horse for 1-2 days just to get to where they live. How cool is that?

Other than that, I've been sick, but that's not new. I'm hoping once I move out of this city, I can breathe again and this cough will go away. Only 5 months (not that I'm counting!), it's crazy how fast time flies.

Happy Easter! Here's a pic of what it looked like in UB today:

(Thanks Katie H for this, haha)
Sigh. Constant warm weather can't come soon enough.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tsagaan Sar: Re-revisited

Here I am- third year, third Tsagaan Sar.

You can read my other two posts:

Here (2011)
Here (2012)

This year, I went to only three homes (perhaps that's fitting?). Just in that, UB Tsagaan Sar was so much different than in the BU. Here are some other general differences I noticed:
-You have to be explicitly invited. You also should agree on a time to go... it takes forever to get to one part of the city or the other, so arranging that is a must.
-Not a lot of people wear deels... almost none of the children/young adults, some of the adults, and most of the elders wore them.
-It seemed to be more of an obligation in the city, than in the countryside.

The first day I went to Saraa's family's Tsagaan Sar... it's a new-ish thing to have a joint-celebration. Save on money! Later that day, I went to a PCV viewing of the new episode of the Walking Dead... complete with Tim's portable projector. We be classy.

On the second day, I went to my coworker's house, then it was off to Zuunmod, my old stomping grounds, to visit my Mongolian teacher and my host family. But it had turned out my host family went to UB, though, so I didn't get to see them. :/

Onto the photos!

Saraa (our PC medical assistant),and Darlene (our country director) do a little TS toast!
Darlene, Saraa, and Saraa's family
Onto Zuunmod! Me with Oogii's baby :D HE'S SO CUTE. Mongolian babies are the CUTEST. AND he actually kinda liked me. Or at least he would laugh at me.
Jerry and Tim, eatin' the buuz.
Oogii's baby and Oogii's mom :)
Samata... Samantha?? So many memories for the M21s.

Other than TS, I've been spending my days doing the usual, and playing Diablo III. I'm so cool I can hardly stand it.

Happy Year of the Snake!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Come on, come on, this is the story of the town gone wrong

I'm back! And sick. Yay. I've been drinking through all the Teavana tea I got for Christmas (it's so good!), in an effort to get better so I can at least go to work for two days before having another 4 off. That's right- it's Tsagaan Sar time next week!

Anyway, I now present to you... my USA vacation in Instagram form (as if you haven't had enough of that already):
Still in UB...
Sushi... in JAPAN!
Flying over Chi-town

PCV friends in the real world :)

Beijing layover... back to the smog.

So in short: animals, good booze, food, warmth, food, friends, travel and amazing freaking food.

In other news... I may have found some possible job prospects for when I get back. After traveling, of course! So much to do...

Thursday, January 31, 2013


...the worst blogger ever.

I'm back from America. More news (and photos) to follow.