Monday, December 31, 2012

Congrats, it's gonna be a New Year!

Hey, the world didn't end... imagine that!

I've now been back in the US of A for two whole weeks now. It's crazy. The food is amazing.

I'll spare you the details. Next adventure: 2-week road trip with my mommy to see family and friends.

Until next year,


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pourquoi tu gâche ta vie?

Mika! Not just my old cat, but also a wonderful singer who has a new album out. Just lovely.

I'M GOING HOME ON MONDAY! ...Not for good, but for Christmas, New Years, the whole bit. So. Excited.

Let's see, Thanksgiving, IST, and these past two weeks have gone so fast. Really, where has the time gone? Soon enough, winter will be over and summer will be here again and then I'll leave Mongolia for good (at least for a couple years). I need to slow my roll... this has happened to me the same time every single year- I get all worked up over future plans. There's just so many things I have yet to do. One step at a time!

Weather check: It was -42F last week. Even Mongolians agreed- it was cold.

You should check out this article that has some quotes by me, and also a neato picture... of ME:

I'm just that cool. :) Also A2 is just that cool too!

No pictures, I just really wanted to post before I got state-side (and I'm busy baking cookies for my coworkers). I can just taste that Jimmy Johns!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Because it's Tuesday morning and it's mid-November, here's my list of things I'm excited and/or happy and/or thankful about at the moment:


2) Chinggis Khan's birthday is tomorrow, which means NO WORK!! Happy birthday, old man!

3) New socks. And my mommy for sending them!

GROSS. (those old ones are are at least a year old... maybe two?)

4) Snow! And pretty mountains.

Selenge aimag!

5) This freaking cat's whole youtube channel. I dare you not to go D'AWWWW:

And because I'm missing my Mika babies at the moment, here's a cat that looks like Mika (I'll go visit him one of these days!):


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hold me fast, hold me fast, because I'm a hopeless wanderer

HEY. I found our (Sukhbaatar Aimag's) 70th anniversary Naadam photos that I never posted. Most are from archery because it's really the least popular of the 3 sports and it's easy to get up close. Because it was the anniversary, it was impossible to get the kind of shots I did the year before. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. And everyone thought we (Laurel- an awesome chick who went to MSU (yeah!!), is in med school, and was doing some work for my hospital) were tourists. One family was sitting next to us when we got good ol' Naadam khuurshuur, and thought we didn't know Mongolian until my CP came up to me and started speaking. Laurel said their faces were priceless.

I realized I never actually posted about this event, because it was a week before I left to move to UB. Whoops.

It was a wonderful hot sunny day for the first day (we saw a wreath laying ceremony for Mr. Sukhbaatar in the background, then we watched horse races and gambled with the grandmas):

(this and the parade picture are Laurel's pictures)
Horse racing gambling/game! 100 tugs to play... you have to roll ankle bones, and if you get the "horse" side, you can move up a space. First to the finish gets the other player's money. 

It rained like crazy the opening ceremony day, but my hospital was very adamant about having me in the parade with the doctors and nurses. I was a hot mess:

I am soaked and I look like I'm wearing a bag.
My hospital's doctors, soaking wet!

 But the next day was again sunny and it was spent watching the archery and wrestling (remember to click on it... they look better large):

This little dude asked me to take his picture. And now he is immortalized by the internet.

This is the other end of the archery. I would be scared to stand so close to where those arrows are flying!
And the kids had their own special place to practice :) 

And a special photo....
This last one is for you, Sarah!! :D Miss you girl!

Winter has come to UB. I hope ya'all are staying warm where ever you are!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dear friends and family...

Please check out this blog. It's been going around the PC world like crazy (no one knows who wrote it, but many seem to apply to all countries), and I nearly peed myself laughing so much when I first read it.

So come join me, see what PC life is really like in .gif form:



P.S. Here is a picture for fun:

Me and Chinggis hanging out at the capital building.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Waiting for October

Happy Columbus Day! We never "celebrated" it back in Michigan, but we get the day off of PC work because the office is closed. Score. So now I have the morning to blog and perhaps do some grocery shopping in the nearly empty delguur before HCA work and wine-and-Downton-Abbey night with Chris. Even though it's expensive, dirty, loud, and usually a huge hassle... I'm a little bit in love with UB and all its amenities.

Last month I went to the Gobi desert to run a 10k, with some of my fellow PCVs. It was pretty darn awesome, except for the huge sandstorm at the end. I was cleaning sand out of my hair for a week.


Jordan, chatting it up on the way to the Gobi.
...more hudoo.
We didn't actually get to karaoke here. Looked pretty swanky though.
Oh, and we totes did some work too. Here's Sam talking with some CPs.
And Stephanie thinking about what she'll say next.
Long walk before the long day.
Our awesome driver for the day.
And the finish line! (That's not me runnin' up of course.. the finish line looked a lot darker and more windy by the time I got there)
Britt was the first woman to finish the 1/2 marathon... so she got a prize of felt products and the worst vodka ever.
Aaaand a cell phone picture of our post-run pizza party in Joe's ger. It was glorious. 

So now that Mitt is gonna cut PBS funding, how are people going to watch Downton Abbey in America?? Remember, downloading is ILLEGAL. Luckily there's no copyrights here, so we're already on the 4th episode of the new season. VOTE OBAMA! SAVE DOWNTON ABBEY!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A year from now, we'll all be gone, all of our friends will move away...

...and they're going to better places
but our friends will be gone away

nothing is as it has been
and i miss your face like hell
and i guess it's just as well
but i miss your face like hell

been talking 'bout the way things change
and my family lives in a different state
and if you don't know what to make of this
then we will not relate
so if you don't know what to make of this
then we will not relate

rivers and roads
rivers and roads
rivers 'til i reach you


In my many new-music exploring times, I found this band- "The Head and the Heart" and this song... it came at the right time, since I have less than a year left in Mongolia. I've started making tentative plans for when I go home, grad school, more traveling, etc. Of course, I was thinking about these very things last year, and look where that got me! :) 

Not too much going on in the big city. I'm incredibly busy, running around from place to place. Man this city life is expensive, though. 

OH I SHOULD MENTION! That Mika was FOUND (if you're my friend, you probably already knew that, however). Mika then got a grand ride to the UB from the BU (thanks to Jess, Britta, and Mezelle!)... the poor thing was stinky as hell and looked like he just crawled out of a sewer (which he did). After giving him food and a bath, my friend Max was kind enough to take him in. He only lives 4 hours south, so that'll be an easy trip to visit my old kitty... and Max, of course :)

I'm pooped. I spent the weekend doing nearly nothing except for cleaning, playing "pocket planes", and talking with mommy and (Amerik) Jess Jess.

I shall return later this week with photos of my Gobi 10k adventure! For now, enjoy these:

Interesting conference...
...and a way more interesting concert in the square! The Beatles!! (They about killed us how they were pronouncing "bayaralaa"...)
Ashley with her super-depressing artz-tei cheesecake.
Sunset after work...
On the road in the south.
Every Bate? Bates? FREE BATES!! #downtonabbeyhumor

Happy end of September, ya'all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just know you're not alone, 'cause I'm gonna make this place your home

I've moved. Capital city, baby!

I've actually been here for some time, since the beginning of the month. Ever since then, however, it's been a whirl-wind of activity and excitement mostly on the Peace Corps end. I'll be honest- I'm loving my life right now. I can't believe how lucky and blessed I am for these opportunities and for my dear friends here. I feel like I'm in a really good place and I hope to keep that up this year.

That's to say this summer didn't come without tears:

Some of my amazing BU friends who came to see me off.  That morning was the end of an important chapter in my life, and I was kind of a wreck.

I have a lot post about my last couple weeks in the BU, but for now I'll post random pictures I've been taking (with my cell phone... ha) during the past couple weeks during my transition. They're basically in order from the beginning of August, to the end:

It's official!!  
Pomegranate lemonade... SO GOOD. I heart this city.
I forget how beautiful UB summers are sometimes.
Volleyball with friends...
Toasting marshmallows with a candle... because we're BALLA
(Now ex) sitemate picture time!
One of the coolest parts of the year- SITE ANNOUNCEMENTS! The PCVLs got to announce the placements :)
Back to the party! A large group of M22s are trying to grow out rat tails...
Love ya, Leon.
Swearing in! Look at all the new M23 PCVs :)
Meanwhile, Chris set up a bar using a bed inside of a ger. I was amazed. 
At Terelj National Park for the PCV seminar... nice clean air, and wonderful running trail!
Making nachos with the left over food. YUM. 
Hey! It's my new hospital! Which is... nearly built?
And at my Peace Corps work... I love working with these guys.

Also!! I've been training all summer... and late next month I'll being doing my first 10k run (ok, ok, so I've really only been training for a 5k, but there's no 5k in the gobi this year... boo. Therefore doing the 10k!). So pumped!