Saturday, July 02, 2011

I got to milk something!

My Host Mom Explaining the Cow-Milking Process
Last weekend, my host family and I went out to the countryside again.  My host mom was determined to check off all the "countryside jobs" that are on my list of things she needs to teach me how to do before training is over and I have to be able to feed, wash, and shelter myself somewhere in Mongolia.

First, I got to milk a cow! There was much laughter at my attempts, but I think I made a decent showing. I got milk out of the cow at any rate - I don't think speed should count. ;)

Next on the list was sawing and chopping wood. I didn't lose any limbs, and there were smaller pieces of wood after I was done. So, success. (And, again, much laughter!)

Then I helped make a fire in the ger stove using dung and the wood I'd chopped. We boiled the milk in a huge basin that slotted into the top of the stove. We made hoshur (fried dumplings), of which I am becoming an excellent pincher. They even made me special meat ones - they were eating intestine-stomach-kidney-etc. ones.  We drank yogurt.  A good time was had by all.

This week at school was insanely busy. We had two micro-teaching sessions, took trips to the cultural center, and I had the first meeting of what will hopefully work out to be a Spoken English table at the local cafe.

Also, I'm learning a Mongolian dance, to be performed at the end of training. It's a lot of fun, but definitely not easy - we had two two-hour practices this week and I think we've gone through about a quarter of it! There are six of us doing it: three girls, three boys. We're being taught by teenage Mongolian girls who are endlessly patient with us. ("Like a bird. Small, fast. No. No. Um. No. ... Still no... No. Again.")

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