Katieholder’s Blog



3 Weeks ’til Vacation!

I decided that I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties to you guys and thought today would be a good day to amend that. First off, yeah it’s my birthday, but because I’m in a place where time has a relative meaning, I’ve decided to age backwards instead of forward.

Kind of like Benjamen Button but without a Brad Pitt character involved. So, instead of 31, I’m turning 29. Done. The weather here is great right now. No humidity and the hottest days so far have been about 80 degrees. Of course the weather here is known to change at the drop of a sheepskin, so who knows what next week will be like. Of course the warm weather brings with it the plague of tourists who I’ve begun to really dislike. They stick out like sore thumbs and are easy pickings for pickpocketers.

The pick pocketers then think PCV’s are also tourists and target us too. Ugh.

When I was in UB for training a couple of weeks ago, I was walking to meet my Mongolian friend Mola for dinner near the Peace Corps office. I had on my backpack because I took it to the office for work. Usually, I never wear my backpack out because it’s such an easy target for pick pockets, but that day I had to take it with me. As I was walking down the street, I was extremely aware of who was around me because I knew I would be a target. As I was approaching the restaurant, I heard some soft footsteps behind me and turned me head a little. I saw a boy about 10 years old with his hand on my backpack zipper.

I whipped around and yelled “No way dude!!!” He turned and tried to look innocent and I yelled at him again to “Keep on walking mofo, keep on walking!!!” I guess my hatred for pick pocketers outweighs my love for children. Oh well.

That was really the only exciting thing that happened to me during TOT (training of trainers). I did get to see a lot of my friends who I haven’t seen since December. I also got to eat some great cheeseburgers, pizza and mexican food (which did some damage to my stomach, but it was worth it).

I also got to go to the airport to greet the new trainees (M21s). This batch is a lot older than my group which made me wonder if the Peace Corps was their fall back plan during the bad economy. I’m going to go to Zuun Mod for July 4th and check out the CED and Health groups.

When I return from the states on July 31/August 1st, I will start training the new business volunteers the next day August 2nd. I’m excited about being a trainer, but also nervous. These business volunteers are crazy experienced and most have MBA’s. It’s kind of intimidating, but I just have to keep reminding myself that I have a year of living in Mongolia under my belt and that’s really where the skills I’m teaching them come from.

So, my birthday here has been a 3 day celebration so far. Wednesday, I went out with my Peace Corps and German sitemates and a great time was had by all. Yesterday, I was on the phone and computer all day making “belated b-day plans” with my friends in UB and tonight, I’ll be celebrating with my co-workers.

They’re keeping the plans quiet, but Ganbat brought in 8 huge meat skewers so I’m pretty sure that a hoorhog is involved in some way (Mongolian BBQ). The only question is–“Will the sheep be alive when we start?” Last year, i was really squeamish/nausious when my host dad got a sheep, killed it and skinned it in the entryway to the house. This year, I think I’ll be better if I have to witness that whole thing again, but it’s time consuming and I’ll be hungry if we have to go through that whole process before we even get the meat on the fire.

I’m going to take a lot of pics tonight, so whatever happens, you guys will be able to see it.

I’m so excited to see all of you in less than 3 weeks!!! I miss you all so much and can’t wait to sit down to a home-cooked meal with you.

As always, 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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