Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dance, dance

Quickie post, I uploaded a video of one of the dances I saw at the children's concert. They were AWESOME! There were some kids playing instruments and singing, too, so I'll try to upload those as well as my internet allows.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And then there were pictures...

Another busy end to the week. Friday night was Alex's birthday, and so we had a party over his place, complete with awesome chocolate cake made by Julie. Saturday I had class per usual, and after a little downtime, did my laundry at Todd's, dragged my crap back to my place, then everyone was treated for dinner by the heads of the english club that we're teaching for. OH and it... kind of snowed. A dusting, I suppose. Sarah texted me this morning and she said that it had snowed in Dariganga (the soum about 5 hours from us in our province). It's getting steadily colder, even though a couple days this week it was too warm for my coat, so I got to wear just my fuzzy fleeces. ^^

Today we're having our site visits... at time of writing, it sounds like they haven't gotten here yet. At 8 tonight, I'm going to the children's play at the theater which my Mongolian tutor's kids are in. I'm pretty geeked because Mongolian kids are adorable and I love Mongolian dances and songs.

Enough of my chatter... onto the pictures...

My hospital got me a lab coat! It is seriously a kick-ass lab coat. It's one of those old school nursing ones with the high collar and the buttons down the side. AND it came with a nursing hat. I never got a nursing hat in nursing school, so I feel like I'm compensating or something. It fit awesome, except that I have a busty chest so it wouldn't button around that area... so that sucks. We're gonna get it tailored though. :)

Suvdaa making me pose for pictures...

A freaking awesome nursing hat!!

 Also, people have been wanting pictures of my town (whoops, have been kinda bad about that), so here we go! And some videos too!

 This is the back side of the hospital, newly paved. My coworker's son was admitted for a while for low blood sugar (he's fine! he's back to his perky 12-year old self), and this was the view outside his room.

So, on my walk home... this is outside the main part of the hospital. Also newly paved!

 The main door, and just inside is the emergency room to the right.

The way back to my apartment. This is right across from the hospital, and it's a one way road... a little scary for people walking! Also, the road is really hard to walk on in high heels, by the way. I don't know how people do it.

MAN HOLE! A couple of those on my walk. Don't wanna fall down those things! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... lalalala...

Some new apartment buildings... 

Sukhbaatar Square!

Government building...

The main stretch... the square on the upper right!

Sukhbaatar himself!

Our huge TV screen that was playing really strange 80's music and videos at that time. Hm. The song right before this one I swear was that Meat Loaf song, "I'd do anything for love". Freakin love this country.

My apartment building! Next to the photo store!

My balcony is the one with the missing windows... not too safe. At least it has a roof!

My door to my building. :)

My apartment building to the right, and the other buildings... it's like a big rectangle of old buildings.

So I attempted to upload some videos, but my internet sucks so it's taking forever. So I'm gonna try to put them on youtube and see if that goes faster. Hold on tight for that!

And at the time of this writing, I just came back from the children's concert. Mongolians are amazing in the fact that even the 1st graders can sing on pitch all the time. All the acts were awesome, and I took some cool videos for that too.

Work tomorrow with site visits, hoorah! (As I taught Dava's class) - Deuces ya'all! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's hard to live the life you choose

Blog post, so long overdue. I'm sorry... it's been a crazy busy month. It's mid October already! I've been here almost 5 months, which is crazy to think about. I've been getting a lot of the "do you miss home" question from the Mongolians, and how can I answer no? It's definitely the longest I've been away from home (even in college I managed to make it home once every couple months), but I think I've been fairing well for the most part. There's been good and bad days, as you all can imagine.

I can see this entry is going to be hard to do, since I did a crappy job of writing down what I have been doing. Poops. Honestly, it's hard to describe what my experiences are like... as I think I said before, there's something that happens everyday that bluntly reminds me that I'm in a totally different culture than my own. Most of the time those moments are so amazing to me.

Working at the hospital has been really great lately. I've been busy making my lessons, and in between and I have pretty lengthy conversations with my coworkers, Suvdaa and Tuya:

Coolest nurses in Mongolia.

This week has been a lot of talk about the differences between my old hospital and our hospital. Break rooms, med rooms, (I had an old coworker take pics for me), salaries, amount of doctors and nurses, etc. Our hospital has a lot of things going for it, for sure. There are so many good ideas, so much construction already going on, and lots of room for improvement that Suvdaa has already identified. I'll be working on a mini proposal this week to possibly get some respiratory equipment/ventilators and/or trainers to come to our hospital to train about them, thanks to Travis' mom (the volunteer who was here before me) who is part of a respiratory group. I'll let you know how it all goes. :)

Lately, I've been doing a lot of english teaching. I know you're saying "Katie... you're a nurse, what the hell!" but hear me out! That's what they want, I will give it to them. Most days actually it's a lot of fun. I've been teaching some english songs (one woman wants me to teach some Beyonce!). Saturdays and Mondays are my hospital english class, Tuesdays are Dava's class, on Mondays and Wednesdays I have tutoring with people, and Thursdays and Saturdays are the community english class. Yes... that means my only full day off is Sunday! This week I was really pooped so I decided this would be my day to myself. I had to turn down a couple people for lunches, etc but I think I deserve some reflection time. I did spend this morning on a 4 hour skype call with my dearest friends from home. :) That was really nice, thanks guys. :)
Ohhhh yummy food stuffs... holy crap mac and cheese!!

I got "the" package from my mom this week... with my lab coat! I started doing some observing in the surgery unit this week. Since I don't have scrub pants (pretty sure I tossed those old things when I left my old hospital), I sacrificed a pair of my pajama pants. I wish I had brought my camera that day (I got a new P&S, thanks mum!)... I looked a little hilarious, but cool- white and blue checkered pants, MSU nursing lab coat, my coworker's scrub hat and my black shoes from the black market in UB.

Also, big shout out to MSU for beating Michigan last week. Sorry mom!


 Poker night with the MTBA! ...also with a 3D Where's Waldo? puzzle

...Nema playing with my camera...

Mr. Potter, Satan, and Princess (Nema, Alex and Chimgee)... we didn't play poker that night, but fun with hearts instead. I still get your chips next time, Todd.

 My community English class! Enee is the first on the left, and she's one of the university english teachers. She translates my english babbling!

 Some of my students from the hospital!

MIKA! Who looks a lot like...

Pippin!! This picture on the camera cracked me the hell up... he looks terribly pissed to be having his picture taken.

 Homework assignment for you guys... what am I gonna be for Halloween?? Ahh maybe crazy cat lady? Also, I've put up a list of cool stuff you guys could send me. :) Love you all!