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Mongolian for Beginners   (published in Mongolia)

August 25, 2010 by   Comments(0)


  Common words and sentences

In Cyrillic script 

roman transcription

English translation


za [dza]
















you (informal)

Би монгол хэл мэдэхгүй

bi mongol khel medekhgui

I don't speak Mongolian (I Mongolian language not know)




Би ойлгохгүй байна

bi oilgokhgui baina

I don´t understand



  In Cyrillic script 

roman transcription

English translation

Энэ таны цаг уу?

ene tani tsag uu?

is this your watch?






[question particle]

Гэрлээ унтраа!

gerelee untraa!

put out/switch off the light!

Гэрлээ асаа!

gerelee asaa!

put on/switch on the light!









  In Cyrillic script 

roman transcription

English translation

Бурхан өршөө буянтай айлын бэр болог

burkhan orshoo buyantai ailiin ber bol

God bless you and may you become a good daughter-in-law (when someone sneezes)

Мууранд тоглоом, хулганад үхэл

Muurand togloom, hulganad ukhel.

What is a joke for a cat will be death for a mouse.



   In Cyrillic script 

roman transcription

English translation

- Сонин сайхан юу байна?

- Sonin (saikhan) yu baina?

- What´s new?

- Онц юмгүй тайван

- (Onts) yumgui taivan

- Nothing particular.

- Тайван сайхан байна

- Taivan  ...

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Mongolian for Beginners
Mongolian for Beginners

Volunteer Story   (published in Mongolia)

August 25, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Trekking 40km by horseback, walking along the sand dunes of the little Gobi and navigating my way in a taxi without knowing a word of the Mongolian language has been an incredible life-changing experience. Having never travelled farther east of England than India I have been introduced into a whole new culture and lifestyle.

I chose the teaching project, and was stationed 2 days in a summer camp in the countryside and 2 days within Ulaanbaatar. I loved being able to see the real outdoors of Mongolia as well as living the more touristic lifestyle. The contrast was rather stark. Having never been a teacher my first lesson was incredibly nerve-raking however, the students were all very welcoming so I was made to feel at home. Initially I began with the basic lessons such as sports and travel however, in no time at all we were discussing the transition from communism to democracy and the seven wonders of the world! The students would also put on small presentations and shows for me. In one class, we played 'Mongolian Idol' and the students showed off their talents to the rest of the class. One of the boys played the 'murungkhor' (a traditional Mongolian musical instrument; similar to a violin), and was followed by a boy band singing Westlife hits.
I am now sadly in the the final week of my volunteer work. I have made some amazing friends here in UB who will be sorely missed; especially my Projects Abroad supervisor who enabled me to make Mongolia my home and also save me from a few tight situations! I will also miss my students who I interacted with on a day-to-day basis and hope that I made a positive impact on their lives because hey certainly changed mine for the better.
Thank you Projects Abroad!

Chandni Gupta

July 2009

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Volunteer Story
Volunteer Story

Calca parties for one week - we join for one afternoon!   (published in Peru)

August 24, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Last week Calca was transformed from a quiet and laid back town to a non-stop one week long party of stalls, music, fireworks and dancers.  People from all of the Sacred Valley and Cusco headed to the small village for the festivities of Mamacha Asunta and so did we.  We had a lot of new volunteers who had just arrived over the weekend and they were given a very fast introduction to the Peruvian way of celebrating.

After an icecream or cake we all gathered around in the Plaza de Armas to watch the groups of dancers parading around in their glittery costumes and masks to Huaynos (typical Peruvian music), swinging their scarves or whips.  It was amazing to think that they were already into their 4th day of continuous dancing and still had 2 days more to go!  The crowds certainly weren´t lacking though and the whole of Calca was out in the street still full of energy. 



Later I headed to a contradanza party where one of our host families from Calca had two of their sons dancing.  As soon as I passed through the gate with two of the volunteers, Marleen and Daniela, we were pulled up to join in the dancing.  We were given our own scarves and shown exactly how to wave them about in the traditional contradanza way.  All we lacked were the costumes covered in sequins, coins and jewels!  The family told me that Mamacha Asunta was one of the most important festivities in Calca and families save money and prepare throughout the year for the week of celebrations.  You could see a lot of work had gone into the costumes – the dancers had spent hours sewing on sequins one by one and preparing their masks.  After hours of dancing and a great meal we went home exhausted – the families of Calca ...

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Calca parties for one week - we join for one afternoon!
Calca parties for one week - we join for one afternoon!

Ntonso   (published in Ghana)

August 24, 2010 by   Comments(7)

, ,

One village near Kumasi that does not get nearly as much coverage as it should is Ntonso. This is the home of the Adinkra cloth.

              Adinkra, the King of Gyaman, angered the Ashanti King as he had the same Golden Stool as him. King Adinkra was slain in the early 1800s for this disrespect against the Ashanti. Many believe that this cloth was made during this time and came to be called Adinkra after the king was killed.

              The Akan word ‘nkra’ means ‘message’ or ‘goodbye’. This makes sense as Adinkra is a cloth printed with symbols that convey messages and is principally used for funeral purposes, although nowadays it is not uncommon to see people wearing it on a normal day. The first Adinkra cloth makers were supposedly three men from Ntonso.

              Ntonso has its own visitor’s centre called the Ntonso Craft Village. Here they have a museum and you can stamp your own symbols in with the tools that they give you. The guide showed me how the dye is made and already had some prepared in a pot. The symbols were carved with calabash wood and the traditional Adinkra cloth was on display. Perhaps the most famous Adinkra symbol is ‘Gye Nyame’ – ‘Except God’, telling us the omnipotence of god. These Adinkra symbol appear in Kente cloths as well, underlining the importance of Ntonso. These symbols are seen everywhere in Ghana and this village is where it was born. I find it unbelievable how little attention this place gets! The traditional colours are black and red – black ...

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Review of My Trip to Jamaica. Written by Kush Thakrar(Two-week Building volunteer from the U.K.)   (published in Jamaica)

August 24, 2010 by   Comments(0)




My name is Kush Thakrar and I took part in the two week special community building project in Jamaica.

After landing at Montego Bay Airport on Saturday 7th August, I was met at the airport and taken to my host family. I spent the following day with them too.

On the Monday, I was taken to Mandeville for an induction by Stacy-Ann Barrett who is part of the Projects Abroad Jamaica team. I met many other new volunteers and spent this day becoming familiar with my surroundings. The following day, I went to South Manchester for an induction to my placement. I met my supervisor as well as getting an idea of the kind of work I was going to be doing. At 2pm, we had a Patois and Jamaican culture class. This gave a great introduction to Jamaica and its rich, vibrant culture and I even learnt to greet others in Patois.

On the Wednesday, I returned to South Manchester to help build a housing structure for pit toilets. My job mainly entailed of measuring and marking wood to be cut, holding and supporting planks as they were hammered in with nails and putting in screws using an electric screwdriver. On the Thursday morning, I helped make pedestals for the toilets. This was done by filling pre-made moulds with concrete. We left these to set overnight and returned to South Manchester to continue building the housing structures around the toilets. On the Friday, we continued building the toilets. 

I spent Saturday in Negril at Kool Runnings Water park with my host family. On the Sunday, I relaxed by Bluefield's ...

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Review of My Trip to Jamaica. Written by Kush Thakrar(Two-week Building volunteer from the U.K.)
Review of My Trip to Jamaica. Written by Kush Thakrar(Two-week Building volunteer from the U.K.)

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