Our First “Adventure”…

Our blogging has been sporadic over the past four and a half weeks. We took the first two weeks to get settled in and get to know our teaching colleagues and the school. The next two weeks were spent with us just trying to survive this thing called teaching. I finally am able to plan for more than one day in advance. I’m up to a three day lead on my teaching, but as all teachers know things come up and things change so what you plan doesn’t always happen as it should.

A blurry picture of my first day of school
I was being bombarded with beautiful flowers!

But this week has been better. Although we’re still up until 9 or 9:30 working I seem to feel more on top of things. I know a bit more of what I’m supposed to be doing (I’m finding this to be a HUGE learning curve!!)

So yeah, teaching is getting “easier” (as in I can do this instead of I can’t do this!) every day. Of course, life is always exciting, and even more so when you live in a developing country where you don’t speak the language and you’re still trying to figure out what’s going on! So our most recent (perhaps only so far…) adventure happened last night. We were out with Megan and Jonny and Colin doing some grocery shopping at a fruit stand just outside of the grocery store/market. We had just stopped to pick up some (mini and delicious) nectarines after completing our grocery shopping trip. I had my backpack on my back – first mistake. Usually I carry it on my front, but we had just stopped for a minute and I must have been tired… Needless to say I was bumped into. When I lived in Korea people bumped into me like crazy. I would get so agitated when at the grocery store because people would drive their carts into my calves, or hip check me into a display. So, when I was lightly bumped here I was a bit upset, but didn’t think much of it – second mistake. Jeff was standing behind me and asked me if I had my wallet. He noticed that my bag was (now) open and figured that perhaps that light bump had been a pick-pocket. I checked my bag, and my wallet was gone. (Mistake number three – I left my wallet at the top of my bag, dumb move on my part…) Jeff took off after the guy and caught up to him. He looked rather harmless (unlike the drug-addict pick pocket that we had a run in with in Zanzibar, but that’s a story for another day!) and after repeated threats muttered by Jeff (he seems to get rather protective around me and my stuff) the guy handed over my wallet. I didn’t have that much money in it, but I spent a long time looking for a wallet that I liked when I was in Korea (they were VERY few and far between!) and I would have been sad to have lost it. I had no cards in it and only about $30 cash, but it still kind of shook me up to know that I could be violated like that. One of our other friends here lost her whole bag (camera, wallet, emergency supply of tobasco sauce…) to a pick pocket. So this was my warning, my one freebie. From now on I have to keep my wits about me and make sure that I keep and eye on my stuff. Thankfully it ended (mostly) well.

Counting his money by the coveted Lazy Susie

The only thing that added to the mini-stress of the evening occurred after “the incident” when we stopped off for (delicious and cheap) Chinese food (it even had a lazy Susanne for Jonny!) for dinner. I pulled out my camera to take a picture of Jeff marking math tests at the dinner table and discovered that my screen was cracked. My (fairly) new (1.5 years old…) camera (my first digital camera) still works, but I can’t change the settings and I can’t view my pictures… I think that the cracking occurred when I set my bag down (the lentils and pesto sauce and replacement Tobasco sauce were heavy!!) My camera was at the bottom… alas.

Jeff hard at work marking tests before dinner arrived.

But, no one was hurt and a lesson was learned. And so begins our adventures in Ulaanbaatar!

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~ by dawseng on September 17, 2008.

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