Sunday, April 10, 2011

A bit of reflection

I was talking with my friend the other day and he asked, saying he knew this sounded about as cliche peace corpsy as you can, but if I have been reflecting on the almost two years I have spent here at all lately? As the end of service gets closer I have been reflecting on things more and asking myself things like, what have I accomplished here? what have I learned? how can I take this experience back with me to America and keep the memory with me forever... Now I didn't say I had the answers to any of these questions, but I have been asking myself them!! I think if somebody told me to tell them one thing about my Peace Corps service it would be this: it's humbling. Not speaking the native language is an incredibly humbling experience. Even two years in, and about to finish, I am nowhere near fluent. It is a crazy level of humbling to go into a classroom of 40 students and teaching for 40 minutes while not being fluent in their language! You are really at the mercy of the students. It is humbling to not have anywhere near the level of control that I did in America, including everything at work and at home. Simple things like my firewood to heat my ger. I depend on several other people to get the wood, then saw it up so I can chop it... it is never something I can just go and take care of myself. So relying so much on other people has been a big difference here. Then even funny things here that I have no control of... I need to shower but have no water... sadly I have put that shower off a day or two far too many times! So what have I done while in Mongolia? You would think in two years I would have like built a new school with smart boards included or something wouldn't you... I wish. I think the impact I have made has been on a smaller scale, but still significant. Batzorig told me that before I came he thought he wouldn't like me, that I would be older and always crabby. He then told me, but your not, you're ok and seldom crabby! haha In my time here I haven't dramatically changed my English teacher's teaching methodology; I haven't put on seminars to educate about important concerns like alcoholism, domestic abuse, eating more vegetables ~things I would have liked to have done. But I think I have gotten a lot of students excited about English, and have gotten them comfortable actually speaking English. And I do think I have developed very close relationships with a smaller group of counterparts and students. My one student gave me a letter the other day that said this... "Hi Allie teacher! You is very clever and good teacher. Thanks for always help me. Mostly people can't live far of their family. But you can. You is brave woman. I spend too much time with you and olympics students. You is my best teacher and my best friend. you have to never forget it. You'll go to America and I graduate my secondary school soon. I'll miss you. I never forget you." She goes on a few paragraphs more and ends by saying, "Maybe I wrote fault (incorrect) sorry." I laughed at that part because she did have a bunch of mistakes that I know she knows that grammar, I'm tempted to read through the letter with her so she can fix those mistakes, but I won't!! Anyways, the point of me writing about this letter is not to brag, but is part of me reflecting on what I really did here. So what have I done here? well I made a positive impact on this student, and hopefully a bunch of others. That is really what I wanted to do in Mongolia. And that is what I want to continue to do when I get back.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Above is my school's people in the Regional Olympics which were held in Batsumber this year. The spring in Mongolia is kind of this funny time full of holidays and competitions which makes consistent anything difficult (my type A personality has shifted a lot more towards type B due to necessity here!) So my main responsibility besides teaching my regular classes this past month has been preparing these 10 students to participate in the English Olympics. All school subjects in Mongolia have Olympics in the spring that both teachers and students in each grade participate in, and all schools take it very seriously. the English Olympics consist of a written test which includes everything: listening, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, etc. Then a speaking test, for this we had students describe pictures. So on March 19 we had these Regional Olympics in Batsumber, at which a fellow PCV and I were the speaking exam judges. The purpose of the Regional Olympics is to be a practice for the aimag Olympics which are this next Tuesday. So I am actually in UB right now and will head to the aimag center tomorrow, as I will be judging the speaking again with some other PCVs. I was really proud of all my students at the Olympics, Batsumber took first place overall :) I wish I could eloquently convey to all my students how all that hard work they put in, and that their personal improvement was why we as a whole could get a high enough total score to win first overall. Sadly though I think my students who didn't get medals focus on only that, and so do the other teachers, losing sight completely of the point, that they now know so much more English then they did when we began preparing, and unlike the majority of the students in their class, they can actually communicate in English. That is the whole point. Before the competition they asked me if I thought they could get medals... I told them of course I think you can all get medals, but I don't care if you do. They gasped!! and I said, to me the point is you are learning English. We have had many discussions together about why they want to learn English and in these discussions they all say numerous reasons for why they need English in their lives. So I reiterated that that is what I am trying to help them with; they said they want to learn English, and that is what they are doing right now, that's the point.

I have been thinking a lot about education and being a teacher lately, and for a lot of reasons. I have been reading all about Governor Walker and what's happening with teachers and school budgets in Wisconsin. So some days as I'm walking home from a 10 or 12 hour day of school knowing when I get home I need to get my ger in order, make some food and then sit down and make sure I get everything prepared for the next day of teaching in order. And I love this because I love teaching. So sometimes on these walks home I can't help but just get frustrated that it seems like right now in Wisconsin some of these law makers don't understand 'the point' and again forgive me for not being eloquent at all with what I have to say, but they are simply missing 'the point.' I feel like there is a fair amount that should probably change with education in America, and I try to keep myself informed about these things and want to always learn more. I spent my senior year in college making art about inequalities in our education system. Having taught the past two years in Mongolia though I can now look at education in America and education here a bit comparatively, and in general I think we are doing pretty well in America. So when I hear about possible school budget cuts it upsets me. Oh no problem, we will just put a few more kids in each class, teachers will just take on teaching a few more classes... Well I have taught classes of 40 students here, I have seen more teaching with no preparation beforehand than I care to, and if I can be completely honest, it doesn't work, and it is not in the best interest of the children learning. So when I hear about eduction being devalued and teachers being told they need to make sacrifices too, I can't help but just think, man this guy (these guys) are missing the point. Students deserve to have the best opportunity to learn provided to them, yes we have budget problems, which I'm not even pretending to be well-informed about, but there simply has to be other solutions than drastically cutting education funding.

I have been trying to get all my information in order to hopefully apply for some teaching jobs for next fall and I stumbled upon this quote, "You must convince adolescents that being educated will enhance their lives." Teaching in Mongolia there are some days I leave class and think, wow, that was a good class... I think I was convincing today that this English stuff is worthwhile and the students seemed to have a lot of fun too! Good work Allie! And then there are plenty of classes where I wonder how much more each of my fourth graders would learn if the class size was cut in half, and some of these little boys would have the expectation in their head that they too actually need to listen and do the work I am saying... or wonder how my tenth or eleventh graders can possibly think they have 'earned' any grade other than a D (I am told no F's) when they have done no work the whole quarter, they don't even have an English notebook to show me as they stand in front of me saying, "Allie bagshaaa, a 65..." but this all gets me thinking about the whole system here and I wonder if I should bump everyones grades up, or ditch teaching any grammar at all, and instead just try to get these students speaking using the English they do know. I was talking with one of my friends Mongolian friends who is a teacher the other day and she asked me how education in Mongolia and America differ. I said the biggest difference is probably in America we are a lot more private with each student in terms of their grades and all that. In America (at least I hope, or as far as I know) a teacher would never announce a students good or bad grades aloud as a way to glorify or shame them. A teacher would never call a student stupid or intentionally embarrass them. Students aren't subservient, rather they understand figuring things out and messing up is part of learning, and they can always learn more because it is the teachers job to facilitate this, it is not something they either have or don't. Now there are so many great and kind teachers in Mongolia so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but at the same time the education system here is transitioning and there are a lot of old ways that are all too prominent, at least in my experience.

Anyways, concluding this entry that was all over the place... I guess my point is just that I think education is very important and being a teacher provides people like me the opportunity to be one of those influential people in a child's life... and I can't understand why anyone would want to do anything but support teachers and education.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Finally I am posting about the vacation four friends and I took about a month ago! Two weeks in Cambodia and Thailand was wonderful, and a bit strange to be in other foreign countries. There were a few times when talking to a Thai or Cambodian person and they didn't understand what I was saying, to which my first response was to switch into Mongolian and try to explain myself in Mongolian instead -- Only to realize that would do me no good being outside of Mongolia! This only happened a few times though, as most people's English was amazing, and it seemed like everybody spoke at least some English due to all the tourism. So that was very different than Mongolia.
Bangkok is huge! We spent most of our time around Koh San Road amidst all the other backpackers. Excellent people watching, food, shopping, temples... I could go on and on! My friends and I loved seeing so many other kinds of people and speaking so many different languages. Cambodia was great. The people there (and Thai people too) seemed to always be smiling and much like Mongolia, the little kids would yell "hello, hello, hello" to us as we passed by. We took the train from Bangkok to the border, then a taxi to Siem Reip. During the 2 hour drive to Siem Reip from the border I saw a guy getting his haircut in one of those old barber chairs but just out in the open under a little hut for shade, and all kinds of cows and maybe water buffalo? the cows looked so different than the cows in Mongolia. There were several soccer fields with goal posts and everything (have not seen goal posts in Mongolia yet) and people riding motorcycles, usually a baby or a toddler in front, then somebody driving, and then usually a person or two behind them. We ate amazing food and shopped entirely too much. The Cambodians trying to sell us things would always call us "lady" and all the young kids selling things would do the same, "lady, you want a postcard, you buy ten, see, one, two, three..." "I give you good discount, how much you pay lady?" Their sales scheme worked on us probably 90% of time! The main thing we saw in Cambodia was Angkor Wat, temples built in the early 12th century. I don't even know how to describe how amazing all these temples were! One day we did a big loop around the further out temples in a tuk tuk, a carriage thing pulled by a guy driving a motorcycle. Our driver's name was Jumbo; he was a wonderful little man that drove us around all day. The next day we rented bikes, a dollar for the whole day. So we biked the 6ish km out to Angkor Wat, then 17ish around all the inner temples during the day. Biking around was really nice and only got tricky on the Siem Reip streets when we were going into and out of the city, as the roads were packed with other bikers, people walking, cars, buses, and motorcycles. We all survived the whole day though and were really happy we biked. The guys that worked at the guesthouse we stayed at were extremely helpful and kind, and their English was fantastic. The head guy's name was Song, to which he told us the acronym: See Oportunity N Go... this actually really helped me remember his name! He set up a taxi and people to help us getting back to the border and then a bus back to Bangkok. Oh and this guesthouse, which it technically was, but looked like a hotel, air conditioned rooms, TVs, own bathroom... $14 a night split between two people, yeah it was wonderful (yes my perspective may be a little skewed because of coming on this vacation from living in Mongolian ger... but still, it was nice!) So at the gueshouse though we ran into a few Peace Corps Cambodia volunteers, small world! It was really interesting for us all to swap stories and clear up a few rumors about Peace Corps Mongolia --no we don't all get personal horses issued to us! haha We went with them to watch a free show one night and got to see some traditional Cambodian dancing, so that was really cool. I found it really fascinating to watch them speak Cambodian to the local people too. So Cambodia was awesome. Getting back into Bangkok we left that same day on a night bus that took us down to Koh Phangnan and the next day we were laying on the beach! The next few days consisted of basically laying out, eating, drinking fruit smoothies... well yep that's pretty much it, repeated a lot! One morning though I did get up for a run and saw all kinds of students in their uniforms on their way to school. Making me think what a different experience I would have had if I had been placed in a Peace Corps country like Cambodia or Thailand... It's interesting though because talking with the Cambodian volunteers, even though the climate is totally different and all that, a lot of our challenges and successes sounded pretty similar. Anyways, we were all quite sad to leave Bangkok and all the good food, the beautiful weather, days free to do whatever we wanted... but we did leave and got back to Mongolia safe and sound. Being back has been good, school is crazy busy and it is getting a little warmer outside... and in 4 months I will be coming back to the States... crazy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


New Years in Tamir's house

Sulushesh, one of my 5th graders, don't tell the other students but she's kinda my favorite!
Christmas Day in my ger with some teachers.

School New Years Party!!

As usual I have been meaning to post some updates for awhile and thought I would at least do it before 2011... oh well! Things have been pleasantly busy around here lately. Mongolians celebrate New Years big time, so that has made things pretty exciting. I have had to explain quite a bit that I celebrate Christmas on the 25th and then also New Years on the 31st. Most Mongolians don't really celebrate Christmas, but a lot of the New Years decorations and songs and everything is Christmas themed. So I think that has to do with some of the confusion on thinking the two are one in the same. Our school New Years party was actually on Christmas Eve. They decorated the gym and all teachers (except me, as I have no kind of outfit like this here!) got super dressed up, like prom style! It was a really fun night; I had a blast... felt a little under the weather the next day though! My teachers and students were so nice, sending me text messages wishing me a Merry Christmas and coming to my ger with food and presents... it made Christmas really seem like Christmas. And it's certainly cold enough here to be Christmas! New Years Day it was like -20 I believe, with the night being like -30 or -40... today was around zero degrees I believe so it felt wonderful in comparison! On the 31st I went over to Tamir's sister's house next door and ate buuz, and then on the first I went to Tamir's house and again ate buuz... so I ended one year and began another eating buuz! Buuz are the national Mongolian food; they are sheep meat wrapped up in dough that's steamed. Anyways, once I get back in America it's back to vegetarian life for me! Here now though, personally I have chosen to eat a little meat sometimes just because I think it's respectful to the people serving me their food. Sorry the pictures above are an out of order mess! I can't ever seem to figure out how to upload them correctly... maybe I will get it right before I come back!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Already December!!

I remember talking with some of my PCV friends before school started about how when we get to December it's almost like we are done... well it's December! And time really has gone by soooo fast this year. Today on facebook a bunch of the M21s (21st group of volunteers in Mongolia -I am an M20) posted that they have been in Mongolia for 6 months now, this was just really interesting because that is about the amount of time I have left here now... which is exciting, and strange all at the same time. Knowing that, it gets part of me really excited about coming home, and then makes part of me think, holy crap, I have a lot to get done here still in not that much time! Anyways, this weekend I have been extra productive! Chopped a lot of wood, did two loads of laundry, continually cleaned my ger (only to have Leo come in and poop and pee all over the place, grr!) went running, bathed, etc. etc. I know what you are thinking, why are you telling us you bathed...? Well it takes longer when you have to heat up the water and first do your body, then dump that water, heat some more water and then do your hair, doing all of this over a tupperwear basin I guess you could call it. So yes, I always include "bathing and washing hair" on my weekend "to do" list, it just takes too long to not have it on there and be able to have the satisfaction of crossing it off!

School has been going well, not a whole lot of school news to report on though. Just trying to keep planning lessons that will entertain my 4th graders enough to hold their attention for the 40 minutes! Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I am not... Usually though class is a lot of fun, when I am finished teaching all three fourth grades in a row though I feel like I just ran like 8 miles or something, it is exhausting! My older students have been a lot of fun lately, not sure how much English they are really picking up, but usually class goes alright, so I'm grateful for that. The other day in one of my 11th grade classes one of my guy students came in really really mad. He was knocking over desks and his neck was all cut up. Well about two minutes into class his homeroom teacher comes and calls him out of my class because she had heard about the fight, so that's when I found out what had happened from the other students in class... the boy he was fighting with is actually my neighbor so I know him a little bit. So I just said, "Oh really? but he is such a nice boy?" to which my students thought I said he was good looking by saying he was nice, and I had to clarify, no, no, I mean nice, as in he is a kind person! and then here is the point of my story... one of my girl students, who I'm pretty close with because she is one of my olympic girls that I meet with at least once a week outside of class, says, "no I don't think he is very nice... I don't think he respects women." To which I was like, man, my work here is done!! The feminist in me was proud! I had just the week before talked with her and some other girls about qualities in men that we were hoping to find if/when we get married. We got into this conversation because these girls were oh so curious when I would get married and to what kind of guy???? It was a fun conversation. All joking aside though a good one to have, and my main point to these girls was, make sure he respects you and respects women. Sounds all preachy I know, but here domestic abuse is a scary and very real reality for a lot of women, and the amount of drinking that some men do does not help this cause any. Personally I think in America, Mongolia, and around the world for that matter we still have a long ways to go in terms of domestic violence.

Totally different topic now... I sang a Mongolian song at a concert this past Friday night, yanna. So a few weeks ago my director told me (I was never asked) that I would sing this song at a concert our school was doing. Now, I like singing like when I'm alone, or if I'm teaching students a new song, but in front of people.... not so much. And in a different language in front of all kinds of people that are actually really paying attention because it's a foreign person singing in their language.... yeah again, I was not too thrilled to hear I would be doing this! They did let another teacher sing it with me though, thank God, because I was so freaked out I would forget the words, luckily I did not. So I arrive at the club, with my hair semi- "did" as they told me, and my make-up thicker than normal as they told me to do, and I changed into my Mongol Deel as I was told to wear. But then they told me to take off my long-sleeve shirt that I was wearing under my deel, and to take off my black tights. To which I was like noooooooo, can't do that (my legs were not exactly clean shaven! too much info. I know, but it's the truth) well, when my director handed me a pair of skin-colored nylons what was I supposed to do, refuse? I was assured the lighting is poor and the people are far away, so no worries about the leg hair.... Then a teacher brings around a shot of vodka and says to drink it all, then I won't be nervous. And I did drink that whole big shot, and I think it did help because I wasn't really all that nervous! Trust me the song was probably not very good, I couldn't figure out my microphone at first, and then couldn't really hear myself throughout the song, so for all I know it sounded horrible, but I did it!! And my students seemed pumped about it, and they cheered so much, it was kind of wonderful. I will hear what they really thought tomorrow at school, yanna. I am glad though that I didn't stick with my first thought of, there is no way I'm doing this, I'm not a singer, how could they expect me to do this, with all these people watching, no, no, no..... because I think the fact that I did it, makes me more a part of everything here. And how happy my teachers were about me singing a Mongolian song, and how proud of me they were, made doing it worth it. No matter how good or bad it sounded... I did it, and that made the people of my community so happy. And this was one of those times I think, when their happiness was what really mattered.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wood Chopping Season!

Sorry these pictures are crazy all over the place... can't quite figure out how to put them where I want them on this blog thing! They are pretty easy to figure out though, soccer kids, an 11th grade class with me, then one of my fourth grades, then Batnym fixing the glass on the top of my ger... little scotch tape will fix anything!

It is starting to feel like winter for real around here... I don't know how Batnym has been running around without a hat on because when I do that my ears are in paaaaain! Snow is sticking around now and the water is freezing. So I am pumping myself up for the next 4 months of freezing cold! Good news though this means I get to again start my beloved hobby... chopping wood. The other day Batnym asked me if people in America need to chop wood? My response was, nope, we just press a button. He thought that was very interesting! Granted a lot of people in Mongolia live in apartments, especially in the capital, but he never has so this information was pretty mind blowing.

This school year is still going well. Things just seem to be easier this year, so that's really nice. And because I understand more about what's expected of me and how things work this year I have been able to try more in my classes. Things that I probably wouldn't have known how or wouldn't have thought were possible last year. I also think I am better at setting boundaries for myself and working with my counterparts on whatever they ask of me, but in a way that I am comfortable with too. Some students have mentioned next year and then they are always surprised when I tell them, "I won't be here next year, but you will probably get a new American English teacher." My little fourth grade girls are always cute about that, getting all mad, like, we don't need another English teacher, nope, I'm not learning English from them! The other day a group of them were walking home with me and decided to give me a Mongolian name... only they coundn't agree on a name, so it's still unkown, the possibilities are endless!
The other week some 10th grade boys asked me if we could have a soccer competition and it ended up being awesome. I was a little nervous because I didn't know if it would work with all the other scheduled things, and then how to even begin organizing everything... but it all worked out so well. They let me know how many teams wanted to play, ended up being 11 teams, and then I made a bracket and wrote out the rules. Then my counterparts helped me out a ton; anything I couldn't explain to the students they did. And my one counterpart came out for the whole competition to help if there was ever confusion with anything, and he acted kind of like my translator. He being one of about 4 people in my school that can do this, so I was really grateful that he was willing to help me out. Then different 10th grade boys reffed all the younger kids games for me as I just stepped in if we needed, but mainly stayed on the sidelines (sidelines is a bit of a stretch for what we play on but you get the idea!) This time it was just a boys competition, and more than 100 boys in grade 8-11 played. I hope we can do a girls' competition soon... feel like that would be a really good thing for me to do here. But it was just so cool for me to do this here because it's something I miss doing, being involved in soccer. And to see some of these boys who can really play, like really play, was awesome. Especially because those few boys that are really good at soccer aren't necessarily good at wrestling and things like that that are really valued here. It was just a really cool thing, and I'm happy it didn't end up being a disaster!
Not too much else new to report... It's Sunday night here now; I have planning for school to do still but the day of cleaning, washing clothes, running, bathing (and bathing here is a chore in and of itself!) etc. has left me pretty tired so I may just call it a day and finish up my lessons tomorrow... I look forward to the day when those things are not an all day task!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Sweet Soum

Me with my new puppy Leo, read on to hear about how this happened!Batnym working hard watching cartoons on my computer, p.s. Mom and Dad he asks if you can send some more :)
Batzorig on a friend's horse. He can ride but doesn't have his own horse right now.
It is good to be back to my soum and all settled in, and it is slightly surprising how quickly I got used to not bathing very often again... Today was the start of the third week of school. So far school is going great. Our school Training Manager assigned me to teach all the fourth grades and then some of the 10th and 11th classes. I am soooo happy with this schedule, as the fourth graders are adorable and they get so excited whenever I come in the room to teach them. And outside of class they are always asking when I will come again, which is odd because they have to know when I teach them, it's always the same! And then with the older kids I don't really have any behavior issues during class so I'm hoping I can get a lot accomplished with them. The problem there is they are just so not used to speaking English ever, which must seem weird as they have been studying it since 4th grade, but that's how it is. My one tenth grade today was funny because the two girls who competed in the English Olympics for their grade last year are in this class. They are really hard working and we spent a lot of time working on all kinds of English and a lot of speaking last year to get them ready, so during class today it was like they were my translators. No joke, they would translate everything when the other students didn't understand... kinda cool, but also slightly problematic for trying to get the rest of the class to work when they just rely on these girls (I mean I would too!) Anyways, teaching is going well so far, and these fourth graders remind me how much I loved teaching in America. Teaching them feels like real teaching again. Not that I don't like teaching here, I do, but teaching English is just not the same as teaching was or will be in America. I look forward to teaching all in English again to students who speak my language too. I feel like I relate pretty well to my students here, but not in the same way I could in America I think because things get lost in translation. So in America I am going to try to remember and never take for granted the fact that I can walk into my classroom on Monday and just small talk with my students about their weekend without them thinking it's a speaking practice exercise so I get only the responses they think I want to hear based on the learned grammar.... Anyways, I miss that about America, but I think this experience here is so great and honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I look forward to taking what I have learned here and applying it back in the states -if I can find a job once I return that is!?! Is it too soon to start worrying about that???

My counterparts and I just submitted a proposal for some grant money to buy teaching resources so hopefully that gets approved. It would be really nice to have some dictionaries to work with during class, instead of having to pause everytime we don't know a word as I look it up in my dictionary, then translate, annoying. Other than that school has just been busy with teachers writing their curriculums for the year to be submitted to the training manager, then methodologist of Tov Aimag I think. It's starting to get cold here but not too terrible yet. Some wood and coal has been delivered for me already, though still need someone to saw my wood into smaller pieces so I can chop it... hopefully I can get somebody out here to do that within the next few days.
Other news... I got a new puppy! The boys tell me Lucy died, but I kinda think she didn't. I think she probably got pregnant and they took her away.... not sure though. So I was pretty bummed about that when I got back and she was gone. Then about a week ago Tamir and Batzorig returned from picking vegetables in the countryside, and they brought with them this tiny boy puppy. Tamir was just like, "here, your new puppy" to which, I was just like ohhhh k? Thinking, that's not really how it works, old dog dissapears, so just find a new one in the countryside... but I guess it is how it works! But it took like all of two days for me to be loving this new little guy. And in the past week or so he has already grown a ton, is actually kinda fat now, gotta cut down his carb intake now I think. I finally decided on the name Leo for him. That was actually my dad's nickname; he didn't seem to mind when I said I wanted to use the name for my new puppy.... I had wanted to name him Theo, but the "th" sound is really hard for Mongolians, so when I noticed the boys couldn't say that name I had to think of something new! So Leo it is!
So between Leo and the boys there is rarely a dull moment. Batnym discovered my crystal light packets the other day, and he likes how I put bread in a frying pan to make toast -he says it's "goy ampte!" which means basically means really good. And Batzorig seems so much bigger and more mature this year; he is almost always working on chores outside when he's not at school. The other day he discovered my hair products... I told him try them all out; I mean he has ladies to impress now that he's 14! He is great though. This past weekend it was sunny and warm outside during the day so I just left my ger door open. And in strolls this drunk guy, not a problem, I just grabbed my dog and went and got Tamir to talk to the guy, tell him to go, etc. I locked my door and just kept doing my laundry as the guy keeps knocking on my door. Then I hear Batzorig come and start talking to him, telling him that I don't understand Mongolian so I'm not going to answer, and I'm probably afraid of him because we haven't met, and probably am calling the police right now so he should go... and he did. These boys are just wonderful is my point.