June 2, 2008

Traveling Day(s)

Our traveling day(s) included a 13 hour flight from San Francisco to Seoul, Korea and then a 3 hours flight from Seoul to Ulaanbaatar (pronounced oo-lon-bot-AR), the capital of Mongolia. We left San Francisco on a beautiful Sunday morning, flew out around 1:00pm and then arrived on the other side of the international dateline at 11:00pm in Mongolia. There we were greeted by dozens of cheering Volunteers at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport, who we all talked and laughed with for about half an hour before leaving for our ger camp. It

The ger camp was awesome. We we walked into our gers they were filled with fruits, crackers and water for us to enjoy, and also included a warm fire burning in the central wood stove which kept the inside of the ger around 70 degrees while outside it was close to 50 degrees. We all relaxed together and repacked our bags so that we could leave a winter bag at the Peace Corps headquarters later the next day, which would remain at headquarters for the duration of our 3 month training.

I am feeling very optimistic and comfortable about this entire experience. The people around me are incredible and there has been a lot to take in, but I am already starting to feel the welcoming spirit of the Mongolian people and the majesty of the landscape and culture of Mongolia itself. Where else can you get out of the airport and see two security guards chasing a horse as it runs through the airport parking lot?


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