Lots of working with the kids! Now that I've been here for a few weeks, I feel like I'm actually able to see the progress that they're making, and it's so cool!
Projects Abroad organized a medical outreach, so no work for us! Instead, all of the participating volunteers piled into a bunch of taxis and rode out to a nunnery on the edge of the city. In this nunnery, they serve lunch on weekdays to the poor and homeless of the area, so we were there to help feed the people and give free, basic medical checkups to everyone that came in. We had so many volunteers that there wasn't really much for any of us to do, but it was still a really cool experience.
I've encountered so many different people in the last few weeks, and it's really made me appreciate the life I've lived.
My host parents were awesome enough to agree to take me to the black market! Contrary to what you may think, they weren't selling a ton of illegal stuff (That I could see anyway). It was basically this huge, GINORMOUS market area where you can basically find anything you need (except maybe food. I didn't see much of that.) And it's super cheap. You can find clothes, jewellery, any type of household item, really cool shaman stuff, etc. I could get lost in there for days, no problem.
I'm pretty sure every city should have a black market. Just saying. The atmosphere was awesome, and no one even tried to steal my stuff! Total win.
Some fun stuff:
First off, I was completely and utterly devastated when I found out they don't have root beer in this country. I was totally surprised when I found out, while expressing my sadness to several other volunteers, that a lot of countries haven't even heard of root beer! Needless to say, I'm highly disappointed that a good portion of the world has never had the best soda ever invented.
Secondly, if you ever go to Mongolia and feel like you should make some brownies, I'm sad to say you'll have to send that notion back to the heaven that it came from.
Earlier this week, my host parents asked me if I would make them some brownies, and I was more than happy to oblige, because I freaking love brownies. The only thing was, they would have to be from scratch, because boxed brownie mix doesn't exist here. But that's okay, I can make brownies from scratch, no biggie. So on Thursday we all went to the supermarket to find the last few ingredients we need, and we confronted a rather huge problem. There was no cocoa powder. Apparently they don't have that in Mongolia either. But that's okay, right?
"Isobel, maybe we could use this Nesquick chocolate milk powder instead?" - my host parents
...........So we did.
Basically those brownies were a hard top with slightly caramelized, weird chocolatey stuff underneath. My host family was nice and ate it anyway.
Moral of the story: you probably shouldn't ever ask me to bake, especially if we're in a foreign country.
So that's my week! I only have 9 days left, and only five days of work. It's going to go by so fast, and I'll miss it like crazy a week and a half from now.