Thursday, April 7, 2011


by Kara

It's officially spring! Spring here means extreme temperature changes, wind, snow, and sun (no rain as of yet). Many Mongolians say they hate it. It tends to be when the most animals die, already weakened from the long winter. Though the rapid, extreme weather changes can be difficult to cope with, I'm just happy for the occasional warm days, seeing as how I don't have to worry about my animal dying. I've also noticed that March-May are busy work months. Once summer hits in June my work shuts down and we spend all our time at summer camp. We've got a Peace Corps Closing of Service Conference at the end of this month in the capital and then I will be helping with training the new volunteers in late May (preparing for training) and early June (actually doing the training). This doesn't leave me with a ton of time left at site! As of today I have 26 more days actually working in my office. Crazy. But I'll have more time with my coworkers at summer camp in late June and July. Mark and I haven't figured out when we're actually coming home, but probably late July or early to mid August.

Anyway, here are some pictures showing what I've been up to with work lately.


These are the same kids Tim (our sitemate) and I have been meeting with since the Fall. Our indoor karate class is now an outdoor soccer club!

In the background is the school that our friend Sarah, fellow PCV, teaches at.

English Competitions!

English Pyramid: this is a contest us PCVs organized. Students had to study three topics that we chose and wrote about: the Aztecs, the California Gold Rush, and the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Tough! Hearing the kids say things like "Tenochtitlan" (which I assured them I couldn't pronounce any better than them) was adorable.
Our sitemates, the judges: Sarah, Tim, and Kaede

Sarah standing proudly next to the English Olympics winners from her school - Naraa, the teacher, took 2nd in the teacher's division, and the girl student took 1st in 9th grade and the boy student took 2nd in 11th grade.

School Cooks and School Doctors Training

One component of this training was providing the cooks with the opportunity to practice cooking new, healthy foods. We supplied them with LOTS of veggies.

One of the many dishes they prepared - meat, onions, peppers, etc. They didn't really know what to do with the broccoli ("flower cabbage" as it's called here) so it was mostly used as garnish, same with the lettuce. We gave them some ideas for how to prepare these the following day.

Chicken, carrot salad, and cabbage salad
A very interesting creation... this is a display of a nearby soum. The big chunk of liver standing up is a huge rock, the hard-boiled eggs are gers, and the river is made of mashed potatoes and kiwi!

Human Trafficking Awareness Training

My counterpart Orkhoo and I did a couple of trainings with high school and college students teaching them about the dangers of human trafficking.

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