Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Three Weeks Left (7/21/15)

There are three weeks left of pre-service training at our current sites before final center days, and I am so tired. I am doing well altogether, but I am very tired every day. This second half of PST is very busy. We had our first practice teaching yesterday. My partner Mikey and I did pretty well, I thought. Similar to micro-teaching, practice teaching has us teaching a beginner, intermediate, and advanced class. By the end of practice teaching, we will have taught 24 classes. Right now, it’s 3 down, 21 to go. This week, we will teach on Thursday and Friday. Next week, it’s Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the following week, it’s Monday and Wednesday. Unlike micro-teaching, we are now using a book to create our lessons. This makes life a little easier, but we still have to spend a good amount of time lesson planning.

In addition to teaching, my group has been collectively working on a community project. We are at a good place with this right now, but work will pick up on this over the next three weeks.

This weekend, my group is going to Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capitol city. We are taking the train to get there because it is cheap, and there are special activities we must do while we are there. I am both looking forward to and dreading this experience. UB apparently is known for its pickpockets, especially during the summer. And the time that we spend in UB is time that we are not getting to lesson plan for classes or study Mongolian. However, it WILL be nice to get acquainted with the city and go somewhere else for the weekend and eat different food. I just know this weekend isn’t going to make me any less tired.

Learning Mongolian is, as always, slowly progressive. I wish I had more time to study, but these other things have a higher priority. Next week at the end of the week, we have our language proficiency test, which I am already nervous about. I’m sure it will be fine, but I wish I could just know everything already. I want to have one of those things like in the Matrix where they slip that thing into the back of my head, and I’m fluent in 3 seconds. That would be ideal.

Caleb visited last weekend. On Saturday, my group and some of our host family members and Caleb and I went to a really nice monastery (pics later). We got to take some cool pictures and do some hiking. This was a really neat experience. I look forward to doing more things like this with just Caleb and I when we get to our permanent site. This was also the last weekend Caleb and I got to visit each other before final center days. This will be the longest stretch we’ll have apart, which to me is a pleasant surprise. I thought we would see each other much less over the course of PST, but altogether now, we’ve seen each other six times. I know these last three weeks will go by really fast with all the stuff we’re doing, so I of course miss him a lot, but there is plenty to keep us both occupied.

Outside of all the Peace Corps stuff, I’m also spending time with my host family. My family are very nice people. I help with dinner sometimes and talk to them as much as possible. As an introvert, some days I’m more enthusiastic about hanging out with them, but other days I just want to go to my room and sleep (which I haven’t done! I’m being a good hostee and spending time with them! Except for right now… I’m sitting in my room alone writing a blog… Oh well…).

It’s tough to find a balance right now between sleep, family, Mongolian, practice teaching, other projects, and personal time. But there are just three weeks left before we go back to Darkhan for the last week of PST. I will be reunited with Caleb, and we will soon after be departing for some unknown new place in Mongolia. Just three weeks left!

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