Week 1 – Sainbetsgono!

That is Mongolian for, “Hello all, how are you!”

As some of you have guessed by my Facebook posts, I have made it to
Mongolia! After only 30 hours of combined flying to get where I need
to go. All worth it and very much a blur.  But lets begin at the start
shall we…

I met up with my staging group in DC on Wednesday afternoon, and sat
through what will be the first of many trainings, and workshops. While
I may not remember most of what I sat through ( lots of safety and
security warnings), I will remember this – my fellow Peace Corps
people are pretty awesome. I feel like I have some kindred sprits
here, especially as we go on this journey together.

Fast forward some 24 hours later… and then some, we finally arrive in
Mongolia in the dead of night to a cheering crowd of current Peace
Corps volunteers (one dressed in a hot dog suit…). We were driven down
gravel roads (they really don’t do paved roads here for some reason)
and arrived at our first location, a place called a ‘ger’ (rhymes with
hair) camp. As any Mongolian will tell you, this camp wasn’t full of
real gers, as they are made out of concrete, not mobile and have very
nice hot water heaters and showers.  But I digress. They were an
incredibly nice transition to Mongolia without completely shocking our
systems. And nothing could have been better then waking up fir our
first Mongolian morning…

This was the setting for some of our first meetings about language,
safety, cross cultural training and, you guessed it, more safety. Part
of our itinerary included a day in Ulaan Bataar (or UB for short) for
the serious business of getting shots and then getting toured around
UB by current Peace Corps volunteers. I saw the markets  that were
fully stocked with tomatoes and cucumbers ( YAYAYA!!) and then guest
houses that I would stay in when I need to go back to the capital for
“In Service Training” and other events. It was also incredibly
informative to speak to a current Peace Corps volunteer. My tour
leader had extended her stay to do a third year, and had a bunch of
insights about her service and was full of good advice.

On Monday, we were on the move again, this time to a city called
Darkhan (pronounced Dar-han… the K is silent) which is the second
largest city in Mongolia and a big education center. We are staying in
a quaint Soviet styled hotel next to a school where we have a week of
orientation sessions. These sessions are focused on safety, language,
technical training and health. Today was our first day of actual
language training, and  the first of many technical trainings with
community and youth development.

This has been the very brief synopsis of what my days in country have
been like. One day I will find the time to write about every little
intricacy of my life currently, but the general jest of the next
couple weeks is that  I won’t have that much internet… at all. On
Friday I will move in with my host family, and they will be taking
care of me while I go through the next three months of training.

So while I’m sure my soum (small village) will have an internet café
of some sort please just be aware that my internet will be sporadic
over the next couple of  months

Balerstai! Bye!

Lots of Love,



One comment

  1. […] D.C. to see my sister off on her Peace Corps adventures in Mongolia (read all about her journey here). 24 hours later I come back to NYC because my FIRST DAY as an intern at BBC America was about to […]

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