Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back to the UB- IST

Hey everyone! Long time, no post. I blame it on the weather. It's been in the constant negatives (even for the highs!), and it looks worse when I change my settings to C, so I'll stick with my F, thank you very much. It was a high of 2F today, which was pretty darn enjoyable.

Sitemate lovin'
Anyway, the main reason I didn't post much this month is because I was back in the U to the B again. And I got sick, again. For serious, that city is wack. I've been told it's the most polluted city in the world (most particles in the air), and is SHOWS. I wish I could have taken a picture of the view I had when I was coming back from training- there was a THICK cloud of gray over the entire city. Oi.

So- training. Our M21 training group had training at a hotel near UB (thankfully outside of the city some, but I was still stuffy the whole week), of which we bring one of our coworkers, usually the one that you work with the most. I brought Suvdaa, the head of nursing, and who I work with the most for sure. She's so motivated, and this week really helped our working relationship. The week was SO BUSY. Sessions all day, and meetings at night. We did manage to chill out, drink, and play cards almost every night though! So the sessions were pretty awesome... we went through the whole process of making a legit project, getting funding, etc. Suvdaa and I really got some good ideas for projects as well, and I think they'll be totally doable.
All the healthies and our CPs!

On the Thursday night of IST, we had a free night, where we could pick what we wanted to do. Tim, being the ever-planner, asked the CPs (counterparts- our coworkers) what they wanted. Mongolians LOVE talent shows and competitions. Maybe a soviet throwback (there's a lot of that here), and of course, they wanted a talent show. The TEFLs had one during their IST, but there were twice as many of them as us, so that was feasible for them. We were all pretty weary about having a talent show but since we were going to have a dance as well, we conceded to make fools of ourselves.

Oh, and did I. In spades.

oh what the crap
Started normally enough- each sector (health, business, and youth development) had to do something and none of us wanted to. The business one ended up being pretty funny- Jon took one of the team and showcased his talent of downing 3 beers in succession. Good times! The CYDs (children and youth development) did a Jingle Bell Rock dance, which I was somehow tricked into coming into the middle of the dance and dancing with them, ending with jazz hands. Let that sink in a little bit.

Baby, it's creepy inside
And then it was the healthie's turn. Even more surprisingly, although all the boys were dragging their feet about the whole thing, we put together a show- "Baby it's Cold Outside" performed by yours truly, Matt, Leon, Ned, and Cody. We rehearsed it an hour before the show, and many drinks and one thrown-out shoulder later (sorry Leon!), it was ready. It was pretty darn hysterical, and personally I think it was the most entertaining.

The cutest performance, however, goes to the CPs. They each took the time to write out a poem for their volunteer, in Mongolian, and translate it. It was a little confusing at the beginning since they started in Mongolian, and I heard my name... twice! I turned to Justin, asking if he heard that, and I looked at Suvdaa, who nodded enthusiastically at me. This was my poem she wrote me:

The CPs doing the poems!
Dear Kate, kind and cheerful Kate,
She amazes people by singing 'motherland' song well,
She likes Kazakh handicrafts,
This became her big hobby.

I about DIED with happiness and laughing at how accurate/cute it was! It completely melted my heart and it was the talk of the town all the next day. Suvdaa hit the nail on the head, and I gave her a huge hug after everyone was done.

That was basically the IST. Good times, good food, good friends.

Suvdaa and I!

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