Monday, August 14, 2006

Mongol Rally

I’m writing this on my last day of Mongolian classes, and wow has the time really flown by. You’d think that 4 hours of learning Mongolian then 3 hours of teaching or observing English a day would be long, but no. I move out of my host family’s house on Monday morning, a day I am not looking forward to at all. It’s gonna be a sad one.

So, today was the last day of classes as well as the LPI (Language Proficiency Inspection) test. Peace Corps has a ton of acronyms; I feel like PC has it’s own language to learn as well as the host countries. The LPI went fine. It’s really just a test to grade yourself against others objectively, but if you score below a certain level than you are required to get a tutor (beginner mid, which is what I scored in the middle of the summer, and some people scored beginner high – not many people are required to get tutors). However, its not really a stressful day because I am planning on getting a tutor anyway – why not, PC pays for it. Some people are a little stressed out though, which is unfortunate because they are the ones who seem to care about the score the most but you know that the stress will affect them during the test. Oh well. The way I see it, your score on an oral exam after three months of intensive language training can only predict how well you will be able to learn the language over two years out on your own. (edit: 21-beg high, 21-int low, 14-int mid. I got int low, but everyone else in my class got int high, so im guessing I was just having a bad language day because I am not worse than the others in my class. My class was by far the best with scores though)

Also today, between class and the exam, we saw a bunch of white people so we decided to go and talk to them (as we normally do when we see white people – except for in UB, because there were tons of them). Turns out they were a bunch of British guys who were at the tail end of their London – UB, 3 week journey. There are roughly 200 cars that are doing this trek at the moment, using various routes, but all ending up in UB. The trip is a charity called MongolRally. I’m not sure how long it has been going on or who started the program, but all the cars have to be under a certain amount of money (either 100 dollars or pounds, I forget which), and they have to be donated once they get to UB. They also raise money for the trip and then donate it at the end as well. The website was something like, there are only so many combinations to try I guess. I was thinking maybe someone will buy me a really nice car and I can drive it from UB to London at the end of my service =).

Tomorrow we all go with our host families to Ethan’s family’s countryside spot for a little going away party. It will be really nice to get everyone together with their families and spend a little time together. I’m sure it will end up being some ridiculous story though, and if it does, you will all get to hear about it.


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