Since the past post, we have been intensely studying Mongolian in preparation for the LPI. It is an oral 30 minute conversation/exam with a native speaker. There is a grading scale (10 levels I think) and we need to score at level 3 (Novice-High). If we don't pass it, then we need to take it again in November. I've been told by my teacher that I will pass, but I'm not taking any chances. The hardest part isn't the vocabulary, but rather the speed of the speaker. Sometimes it just sounds like 1 giant word, rather than a set of discrete words. I'm trying to speak with my host family more so that I can become accustomed to hearing the sentences and breaking them down into the words.
My LPI is Thursday and we find out our site location (permanent home) on Sunday. The Peace Corps does a big ceremony with a giant map and most of the PCV's from older classes come back for it. Supposedly, it's pretty cool. Since Mongolia is so big, there is a running joke that when everyone stands on the map and reaches their arms out, you will probably only see the people that you can touch.
We've been spending a lot of time with our fellow trainees before we depart our separate ways next week. We had host family appreciation day yesterday, which meant that 14 of us cooked "american" food for the host families. We did pizza, fried apple pies, onion rings, pasta salad, brownies, etc. The pizza and brownies were a big hit.
This week will be busy, but I will try to post some pictures next weekend.