This is the second post of the day, so make sure you read the one below this first. Most of this was just taken from the email that I'm assuming you received (how else would you know about this website?).
I am sitting on a plane currently, en route to Korea. 57 of us to-be volunteers are on the flight as well, and there is a steady buzz of excitement about being in Mongolia soon. After a two hour layover in Seoul, we will be on a 3.5 hour flight to Ulaan Baator. We will be spending two days there, and hopefully I will be able to send this email out to you all from there somewhere. After the two days there, we will be travelling to a smaller city about 4 hours away to being training. They told us that communication will be infrequent at best, but please continue to write me or even each other through this list even if it takes me a while to respond. I will get all the emails eventually, and Ill have plenty of time to respond to them before the next time I get computer access.
So I arrived in LA two days ago after a busy day of packing after two weeks of rugby tour in Argentina. Although doing all this in such a short period of time before Peace Corps staging made things a little stressful, I am very glad I did so that I didn't have the idle time to start worrying about what the 27 of life ahead of me is going to be like. The two days in LA were a lot of fun. I have really never felt so comfortable with such a large group of strangers so quickly. We obviously have a lot in common and a lot to gain by being nice and friendly to each other, and this combination made the two days very fun and interesting. It was quite strange however, to be in such a large gathering and not run into 33% Jews and 50% Californians. The number of people from non-coast States really surprised me as well: Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Georgia, etc are all represented much greater than one would imagine.
Staging was really just a welcome to the Peace Corps and an introduction to our fellow volunteers. There was not much Mongolia specific information shared, however there was someone there who knew about Mongolia who filled us in on a little information when it was applicable. It was mostly talking about effective volunteering methods, safety infomation, policy, and other broad topics. I am very glad that staging occured though, because I might have been getting a little nervous if I was sitting on this flight alone. Speaking of the flight, Korean Air is a very friendly airline. The food has been excellent, I have my own TV screen from which I can choose from maybe 25 movies among other things to watch, there is WiFi available for a smaller fee than on Semester at Sea ($10 an hour or $27 for the whole flight, but I'm not getting it becuase it would be too much of a hastle to find my card at the moment). They also took my 80 pound bag and didnt charge me for it!
Next time I post to this I will be able to write all about Mongolia and UB and everything else that I have been anxiously awaiting since I found out I was going to Mongolia a few months ago. Horses, horse milk, mutton, wrestling, archery, steppes!!! Oh Man!