Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm headed off to U to the B (Ulaanbaatar) today with the other volunteers to celebrate Thanksgiving! I'm stopping off half way to stay with Ashley, which I'm super excited about since I haven't seen her wonderful face in THREE WHOLE MONTHS! Not to mention my other wonderful healthies, who I will see soon on Thursday!

I miss and love you all at home very much! I'm thinking about you guys all the time! Have a happy Thanksgiving :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's already November, we've been driving all night

Frustrated today. Not really sure what the exact issue is, really. I think it started yesterday when I didn’t have power at my apartment. It really wouldn’t have been a big deal, except for the fact that it was probably the 4th time that week that it had happened. I think it’s the “locus of control” thing we talked about during training- I have a lot less control over a number of factors than I did in the US, and I think my apartment I feel is something I CAN control, at least in the way of taking care of it, so when it's something seemingly simple as electricity, it makes me frustrated. The weekend was so incredibly busy which was just as busy as the week before and so I only got a few hours to myself on Sunday to unwind. So anyway, at lunch yesterday I kept dropping things, which made me even more a little peeved. My Monday english class went well, however, and when I’m working I don’t bring my personal problems in with me… Mr. Moore would be so proud. After work I fully expected to have my power back on since the REST OF MY BUILDING had it… but nope (I was so excited too because I could see from the street that everything was lit up). Something had died. After some calls, my landlord came over, but since he (and I) didn’t have a key to the electric box outside my apartment, I was SOL. Todd was nice enough to bring me some candles… and so I had a romantic dinner of apples and peanut butter with my cat, while reading a book by candle light.

The English language has also been somewhat of an issue lately. Maybe not having to do with the english language, but I’m noticing that a lot more people are calling me Russian. They think I don’t understand, but it’s almost laughable when a group of old men (it’s always the older men too) stare as they walk by and say “orse-hun” (Russian person) under their breath. Sigh. I CAN understand you… heeelloooo. I usually don’t take the time to correct them, because I should, but usually by the time I’ve heard them, I’m already walking past them. I suppose that’s ok anyway… Russians have very nice European style clothing, which I’m severely lacking (go go sneakers ahoy!), so if they want to believe that, whatever. It’s because I’m white… isn’t it? ISN’T IT?! (hah) Also, this town isn’t that big and volunteers have been here for quite some time… you’d think the rumor mill would have run its course and they would have known I’m American. I can forgive the soum-ers though. There are lots of people coming from all over the province all the time so they probably have no idea who I am or why there’s some random white chick chillin’ with the doctors and nurses. My favorite part is usually when they pass my office door, look in, do a double take, walk by again slower, and sometimes stand in the doorway. So usually I smile and say ‘sain bain oo’ (how are you?), but then they have the look on their face like I have two heads. Ah, and that is the life of a PCV Mongolia… thank goodness for my counterparts and my coworkers in the hospital. They are completely awesome and I don't know if I could much without their motivation and patience.

Oh, one more funny story about the staring thing- sometimes I just like to stare right back. But usually this ends with me breaking the staring contest because I think it’s rude to stare. Welp. Once I was walking back home and this little boy was walking near me and staring straight up at me, while walking. So what happened next? Oh course he almost face planted, but he just tripped hardcore and then kept on walking, looking forward that time. Also, once a kid at the store was staring at me with his mouth wide open, the kind of thing I only thought I saw in the movies. But alas, a fly could have landed in there and he wouldn’t have noticed. Then he got knocked over by another shopper because it was rush hour. Moral of the story kids- only stare if you know you’re not going to get the crap knocked out of you.

Attendance for my English classes has lessoned much as of late. A little disheartening? Maybe. This is pretty typical of any English class, or so I’ve been told. Those people who are there towards the end are the troopers, the actual people who want to stick it out, be patient with my (new) teaching methods, and learn English. So, I’m teaching for them. Also, sometimes the schedule of the class impedes them coming… sometimes doctors and nurses come during their work time and have to go back to the unit if a patient comes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m learning two languages- Mongolian AND English. Seriously, English sucks. It is an awful language that doesn’t make any sense at all, and the rules are ridiculous, and there’s too many exceptions and slang and idioms (and I didn’t even know what the heck that was until I got here). I have a lot of respect for my students because that is a lot to take in (Mongolian is so vastly different in structure and words… there are twice as many English words as there are Mongolian). So needless to say I’ve been learning what all the tenses are, etc while making my lessons. I’m hoping after this main class is over (I’ll still have my other classes and tutoring), I’ll be able to work on what I really want to with my counterparts and what they want to improve. After my site visit, it sounded like that was what they wanted to do too.

I suppose that covers things for now. My mind is kind of mush at the moment. I need to make more lists, because I hate feeling like I have a billion things to do and I therefore get too stressed about it. Hm. Peace and love and deuces ya’all. :)