We are now entering the final stretch of summer training. 3 weeks of classes/projects, then 1 week of testing. After testing, we learn our site placements, then a few days of prep and we leave. Ashley and I are in the "advanced" language class.....our site lost a teacher to another site, so our 4 classes combined into 3. Our languages classes are working on conversational exchanges with shopkeepers, post office, etc. The hardest part is that many words are very similar (length of a vowel), but have totally different meanings (example....oily or dusty).
As part of our technical classes, we need to teach english to locals. I am teaching an intermediate english class to young adults and Ashley is teaching english to business professionals. Ashley did an HIV clinic this week at the local hospital. I am working on a case study/business evaluation for a local wool coop. They take dirty wool (freshly shorn), clean it, prepare it, then sew it into pretty nice products (shawls, gloves, scarves). The products look very nice and are cheap (<$15). They also make indoor house shoes, which I am planning to buy before we leave.
Mongolians do not wear shoes in their house, so house shoes are required. Since I don't have them now, I often walk around in socks or barefeet. It is ok to do that in the summer...but it would be too cold in the winter, so house shoes are required.
This week will be language studying, finishing our projects, and spending time with people. It's hard to imagine that we are spending 10 weeks with people (becoming great friends), then we get split up across the country and may not see them again. We are going to miss these people!
On a funny note, we found a beer garden. It is 4 plastic tables under tarps in a grove of trees. There is a fridge with some beer (6 types, only 2 are good). That has become the new hang-out place for the trainees on weekend evenings. The local restaurants/bars all close around 9pm, so we go to the beer garden. We actually don't even know if it is a legitimate business, but we like it.