From Detroit to UB

This entire week has been wild.

From being told I was a part of the “Chosen 13” who were staying an extra night in South Korea, to learning I will be living in a ger during Pre-Service Training (PST), Peace Corps Mongolia has been an amazing experience thus far.

After arriving in San Francisco with 60-something other Peace Corps volunteers, I learned in one of our first few meetings that I would be a part of a group that would need to stay an extra night in Seoul, South Korea because there wasn’t enough space on the plane for us.

Initially, I was pretty bummed and experiencing some serious FOMO but then I realized that I was able to eat amazing Korean BBQ and explore Seoul – something I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise for a while.

When I finally arrived in Ulaanbaatar (UB) I was overwhelmed and completely exhausted. The “Chosen 13” arrived pretty late at night and squeezed onto a 14 person van to make the drive to our training site.

The following days were spent in meetings learning about all of the Peace Corps rules, expectations and what to do when we experience the inevitable bout of diarrhea.

I also made some amazing new friends that will be along for the ride with me for the next 27 months.

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While this entire week has been fun, exhausting and really exciting, I was still anxious to learn more about my host family. We were instructed that we would learn about our family dynamics and where we would be living during PST on Friday during our last session.

To say I got the best deal of the bunch would be an understatement.

I will have a host dad who is a lawyer and local government official, and a host mom who is a teacher. I have four sisters, ranging from the ages of 4 to 18. My oldest sister has studied English for a few years so communicating should be a little bit easier. I will also have a guard dog on the property that I am assuming will become my best friend. And the best part of all: I AM LIVING IN A GER!

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Only 4 of us were selected to live in a ger and I have no idea how I am one of them.

I will be living with electricity, but without running water. I will be tending to a fire during the colder summer nights and getting the full on Mongolian experience.

I will still be living on my host family’s property and I’ll be able to use these next 3 months as a trial run to see if the ger life is for me.

I probably won’t have reliable wifi during PST but I’ll try to keep everyone updated as often as I can.

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