Katieholder’s Blog

Plans for the next few months

The past week, my calendar has been filling up at a scary pace. I have agreed to be a CED (business program) trainer this summer during the 4th quarter of PST. Amber Barger (M19) will teach the first half of the summer and Mark Estep (M20) and I will split up the second half. Usually, there are only 2 trainers during the summer, but a large number of CED’s are either traveling or can’t leave site due to ongoing projects.

So, since I will be a trainer, I have to be trained. That means that I will be in UB from May 24th until June 4th at TOT (Training of Trainers). During these two weeks, Amber, Mark and I will plan all of our lessons, make contacts and set up meetings with NGO’s and get all of our resources together. I will stay in UB an extra day in order to greet the M21’s when they land on June 5th. Then, I’ll head home to Erdenet and finish the trainings I have to do for work and put a pin in my secondary projects.

I’ll fly back to the states July 7th (land July 8th) and be there for 3 weeks doing the family and friends thing. I’ll head back to Mongolia July 31st (land August 1st) and start training the new volunteers on August 2nd. Since I will be their last trainer, I get to be with them when they get their site assignments and watch them swear in.

After seeing them swear in on August 20th, I’ll head back to Erdenet. Briefly. I just found out that I need to be back in UB for my Mid-Service Training (MST) on August 25 -27th. I considered just staying in UB that week, but only for a second since 1. I will MISS my co-workers 2. UB is expensive. Plus, I have to give my co-workers their presents from America! I’m considering buying everyone an Arkansas Razorback’s t-shirt and teaching them to call the Hogs. Any other suggestions for Arkansas specific gifts are welcome. I’ll also be buying them iPods, Levi’s and other stuff which they will give me money for.

In addition to all of my regular CED work, I’ve also started a few secondary projects. I teach a speaking club at the local university on Saturday mornings for some 3rd year translation students. I’m also in the beginning phases of my “Sex Worker” retraining project. There are approximately 110 sex workers in Erdenet and I met a woman who runs a safe house for them. I’m going to be teaching English, basic business skills, computer skills, etc. to the ladies there so that they can eventually find another way to provide for themselves and their families. My sitemate, Dao, will be doing a survey with them about HIV/STI testing attitudes so she can take the information back to her health agency. Medical privacy here really doesn’t exist, and we believe it’s because of that, that more people don’t get tested.

I’m also considering starting up a business club at the Turkish school where I helped grade essays for the English Olympics. The teachers/administration were really great and the students are extremely motivated and talented. It’s a private school whose students go to university all over the world and I think that the kids there would be more motivated to study business/economics than other schools’ students would be. Anyway, that’s still in the thinking stage, but I’m going to set up a meeting before the end of the term is out so a teacher and I can plan this summer what we want to do during the fall semester.

Spring is here and unlike spring in the states where you have green grass, daffodils and budding trees, we have violent wind/dust storms, flash flooding (from melting ice and snow), big snow storms…what I’m saying is that while spring is a warming time here, it’s definitely not the May-pole dancing event that it is in the States…

Sorry this post is kind of short, but I’ve been busy. You understand, right? Anyway, enjoy your amenities!

 Love, Katie

‘The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.’


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