Sunday, August 28, 2011


Our first few days in Govi-Altai have been busy. We share a 2 story house with one of my co-workers and apparently it used to be a store/delguur (throwin a little Mongolian language action your way... get excited.) It is basically one very large room divided into a living room/bedroom area, with mint green walls, deep blue carpet, and loud purple floral furniture, and a kitchen area, that is retro-ed out with orange, yellow, and lime green linoleum and orange sparkle cabinets. We also have a teeny tiny bathroom with a toilet we can sit on =) Our counterparts have been busy showing us around town and introducing us to everyone we will be living and working with for the next 2 years. The city itself is great and has a lot of character. Its population is about 15,000 and the buildings are very colorful. It has sidewalks and across the street from us is a square with a fountain that isn’t always on, but is nice when it is.

Our new home

Yesterday we had dinner with my landlord/co-worker Moogi and her family. They don’t speak any English so it’s been hard but fun getting to know them. They have a 13-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son, and a 10-month-old baby girl and the five of them occupy the upstairs and 2/3rds of the main floor, leaving us with the other 1/3. Its divided up so that we get the front door, and some of the townspeople still don’t know the store is closed and keep barging in our front door, and then get very confused and leave… but no complaints. Overall, we are diggin the town and really like it here so far.

I am working for a government agency that works with small businesses to get them up and running. The building we occupy is a business incubator, meaning it is shared with several business owners including a baker, a seamstress, a boot maker, and 2 electronic repairmen. I will help support these incumbents and give business trainings as well as improve staff English. The address I will be using is my business address and here it is:

Brittany Pimentel                                                           
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Center
Altai, Gobi-Altai Aimag
Mongolia (via China)

I’m excited to get into a groove here and figure out my new definition of “daily life.” We are taking our time unpacking our things and making this new place a home. Anthony’s counterpart Bayra (an English speaker!!) has been nice enough to take us under her wing and show us the sights and sounds of Altai, as well as introduce us to several shop owners and let them know not to rip us off. She’s a sweetheart, and she has the most adorable 3-year-old daughter, Ano. 

So there were 3 M22 volunteers placed here and 1 in a small town 3 hours east of us; Me, Anth, and our friends Chris and Eric who are both English teacher volunteers. In addition to the 4 of us, there are 3 M21 volunteers, Blain, Kevin & Alyssa, who have been living in Altai for the past year. They are currently in UB for a mid-service training, but will be back on Monday. It will be nice to meet up with them and obtain all of their infinite wisdom about surviving here as a PCV.

We bought a modem and an Internet service plan, so we are ready to rock. My skype name is bpimente, for those of you who don’t have it, and I am open for business!

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