April 5, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mongolia: Blogs - Mongolia: Personal Web Site: Travis & Shauna Hlavka's Photos of Mongolia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mongolia: Peace Corps Mongolia : The Peace Corps in Mongolia: April 5, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mongolia: Blogs - Mongolia: Personal Web Site: Travis & Shauna Hlavka's Photos of Mongolia

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-181-108.balt.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 1:11 pm: Edit Post

Travis & Shauna Hlavka's Photos of Mongolia

Travis & Shauna Hlavka's Photos of Mongolia

Travis & Shauna Hlavka's Photos of Mongolia

Weeknight Schmeeknight

One thing about Mongolians, when it's time to have a party, they don't care what day of the week it is. Tuesday night we had our Christmas/New Year office party. Only problem was, the health dept where Shauna works decided to have theirs the same night. Wha? Oh well. So we partied separately. It was a lot of fun. There was good food, vodka, beer, champagne, wine, etc.., and a lot more people than I anticipated. One of my coworkers, Daanii, drove Shauna and I to our parties. I was definitely underdressed cuz all the other guys had suits and ties, or nice dells. I wore dress pants and a fancy sweater. We ate food and had some drinks and chatted for while. I even made a toast in Mongolian (To your success). I know your impressed with that, but it's only 2 or 3 words. Then the games started. First there was a raffle, in which I didn't win, but, my counterpart won the best prize; a really nice rice cooker.

The other 3 games were hilarious. First, they picked random men and women from the audience. The men were all given a long piece of string and told to weave it up the woman's sleeve and all the way thru her clothes till it came out the pant leg. (As you can tell, we are definitely in a male dominated society. The funny thing is 2 women picked the games). There are a few pictures on the pics page. The really funny part was when they announced what the guys had to do with the string. Apparently nobody knew this game, and most of the people were married.....but not to each other. I think the ladies with dell's had an advantage. Ok, so for the next game, they picked a bunch of guys, gave em a balloon, a piece of string with something small and heavy tied to the end, and made them tie the string around their waste with the heavy thing hanging down in back like a long tale. The object of the game was to race by knocking the balloon between your legs on the floor to the finish. (see the pics, it's hard to explain). The last game involved placing a balloon between two people and popping it by queezing together. For example, the most dangerous idea was, they had my counterpart and I pop a balloon between our faces. I cheated a little tho and bit it cuz i was getting nervous I would smash my counterparts face with my face after the balloon popped. I don't recommend using faces to pop balloons. The others were pretty funny tho; Pop between butt's; Pop between hips facing each other; etc.

Later, after dancing and drinking more toasts, they asked me to be a judge. "Of what?", I said. Well, each table was to give their impressions of "Vodka" in Mongolia. (My counterpart translated what I couldn't understand).. It was actually a very tough decision. One, because I had a few drinks in me, and two, cuz all their statements were very good. Overall, they all believed vodka was not a problem unless it was used constantly and in excess.
Can You Say...International Incident?

Ok, it's not that bad, but around 1am at the party, I was standing talking to someone.......while waving my hands and arms around like normal.....and I didn't see one of the herdsman walk up with a shot of vodka for me. Well, there I am flailing about talking and WHAM, I knock the vodka out of his hand onto the floor. UHHH, WHOOOPS. Even tho they believe too much vodka is bad, it is still a big part of their culture, and spilling it all over wasn't a good thing. However, spilling a milk product would have been much worse. Anyway, I said I was very sorry and..and...and...so we walked over to the table, and they poured me another shot. Phew, I was kinda worried I wouldn't get another shot.....uhh....I mean, I was kinda worried I had offended them. I think it was an "end of the party" shot cuz we all left right after. Hmmmm, now I wonder.....Am I a party killer??

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand Date: March 20 2005 No: 530 Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand
After the Tsunami in Southeast Asia last December, Peace Corps issued an appeal for Crisis Corps Volunteers and over 200 RPCVs responded. The first team of 8 Crisis Corps volunteers departed for Thailand on March 18 to join RPCVs who are already supporting relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India with other agencies and NGO's.

This Month's Feature Stories - only on PCOL Date: March 27 2005 No: 537 This Month's Feature Stories - only on PCOL
Dream Come True - Revisiting India after 34 years
The Coyne Column: Read Winning Vanity Fair PCV Essay
Tomas Belsky's paintings inspired by service in Brazil
RPCV reunites with friend after 40 years
RPCV reviews "Los Heraldos Negros" by Cesar Vallejo
Photo Essay: Taking it to the Streets

March 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: March 26 2005 No: 532 March 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
PCVs in Kyrgyz Republic Are Safe 25 Mar
The Coyne Column: A Good Friday Message 25 Mar
Frederic Zenhausern developing "biometric bodysuits" 24 Mar
Robert Blackwill calls for US co-operation with India 23 Mar
Margaret Krome promotes alternate crops 23 Mar
Al Kamen says allies disappointed in World Bank 23 Mar
Ambassador Randall L. Tobias speaks at PC 22 Mar
Becky Binns helps organize 30-hour fast 22 Mar
Fred Poses meets with Vice-Premier in China 22 Mar
John Hoff unionizes substitute teachers in Hawaii 21 Mar
Bill Moyers takes time to "sit and vegetate" 21 Mar
Tony Hall says Ethiopia may need more food aid 21 Mar
Taylor Hackford's 'Ray' wins four NAACP Image Awards 21 Mar
PCV seeks tap shoes for students in Moldova 20 Mar
Adam Donaldson learns to believe in Baltimore 20 Mar
Allen Andersson builds libraries in Central America 19 Mar
Senator Sarbanes' quiet leadership will be missed 15 Mar

March 26, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News Date: March 26 2005 No: 534 March 26, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News
Houston RPCVs sponsor "Around the World in a Day"on April 6 25 Mar
Minnesota RPCVs need Photos for Exhibition 24 Mar
Vasquez to visit DePaul University on April 6 22 Mar
New Jersey RPCVs host exhibit in Maplewood on April 2 20 Mar
Maryland RPCVs eat crab cakes in Annapolis 17 Mar
Connecticut RPCVs held fundraiser on March 5 3 Mar
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC Date: March 5 2005 No: 482 RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC
RPCVs Sam Farr, Chris Shays, Thomas Petri, James Walsh, and Mike Honda have asked their colleagues in Congress to add their names to a letter they have written to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, asking for full funding of $345 M for the Peace Corps in 2006. As a follow-on to Peace Corps week, please read the letter and call your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to add their name to the letter.

Add your info now to the RPCV Directory Date: March 13 2005 No: 489 Add your info now to the RPCV Directory
Call Harris Publishing at 800-414-4608 right away to add your name or make changes to your listing in the newest edition of the NPCA's Directory of Peace Corps Volunteers and Former Staff. Then read our story on how you can get access to the book after it is published. The deadline for inclusion is May 16 so call now.

March 1: National Day of Action Date: February 28 2005 No: 471 March 1: National Day of Action
Tuesday, March 1, is the NPCA's National Day of Action. Please call your Senators and ask them to support the President's proposed $27 Million budget increase for the Peace Corps for FY2006 and ask them to oppose the elimination of Perkins loans that benefit Peace Corps volunteers from low-income backgrounds. Follow this link for step-by-step information on how to make your calls. Then take our poll and leave feedback on how the calls went.
Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.

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