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One day to go!   (published in Mongolia)

August 15, 2010 by   Comments(0)

So tomorrow is take off day and I'm slowly getting ready to go. Working on what to pack, what I'm missing, etc. I've gotten my last needle but do have one more Dukoral to take (am a little late on that, but better late than never... also, see my blog post on the vile substance and my opinion on immunizations and travel).


I've gotten some neat travel gear from Think Geek and have written a piece on it for Generation Go. I love their stuff and it's really handy, like their dissolving toiletries.


I'm really excited about the trip. Soon I'll be taking a little shopping trip to get a few remaining things, than I'll pack. And by tomorrow night I'll be on my first plane!


Hang on a little longer to see posts and pictures about my adventure!

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One day to go!
One day to go!

My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon   (published in Argentina)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

This summer has been the making of countless unforgettable memories: travelling; working at the hospital; meeting new friends; experiences of a lifetime. 

Travelling has been the best part of my summer in Argentina.  A huge group of us volunteers went to Mendoza at the end of May and the country was absolutely amazing!  The landscape is picturesque with mountains in the background and vineyards adding to the scenery.  The city of Mendoza is still quite large, but is on a much slower pace than Cordoba and people actually obey the road signs when driving.  We toured the vineyards on bikes, sampled the wines from multiple places, went horseback riding for an entire afternoon near the mountains, and went white water rafting in the glacier waters in the Andes Mountains.  We were able to stay at a really cheap hostel that seemed like another home, the people of Argentina are so friendly. The first weekend in June a smaller group of us went to Iguazu Falls, the most popular waterfalls in Argentina located in the subtropical rainforest near the Brazil/Uruguay border.  We took a tour through the jungle and took a boat up rapids and under the actual falls.  It’s crazy looking back at it, but definitely something to do once in a lifetime.  We also went hiking, canopying, and rappelling during our time there.  Just getting out of the city is money well spent.  Our travels might have seemed like a good amount of pesos, but when converted to dollars, the price was next to nothing. 

The first weekend here I was able to participate in the Dirty Weekend, a weekend where volunteers help out in the community by doing whatever projects come up that people need help with.  We went to a suburb of Cordoba and ...

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My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon
My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon

Erdene Zuu Monastery   (published in Mongolia)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

The Erdene Zuu Monastery (Mongolian: Эрдэнэ Зуу) is probably the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It is in uvurkhangai Province, near the town of Kharkhorin and adjacent to the ancient city of Karakorum. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. The Erdene Zuu monastery was built in 1585 by Abtai Sain Khan upon the (second) introduction of Tibetan Buddhism into Mongolia. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in construction . It is surrounded by a wall featuring 102 stupas. The number 108, being a sacred number in Buddhismand the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary, was probably envisioned, but never achieve. The monastery temples' wall were painted, and the Chinese-style roof was covered with green tiles. The monastery was damaged by warfare in the 1680s, but was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples inside.In 1939 the Communist leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan had the monastery ruined, as part of a purge that obliterated hundreds of monasteries in Mongolia and killed over ten thousand monks.Three small temples and the external wall with the stupas remained; the temples became museums in 1947. They say that this part of the monastery was spared destruction on account of Joseph Stalin's pressure. One researcher claims that Stalin's pressure was connected to the short visit of US vice president Henry A. Wallace's delegation to Mongolia in 1944.Erdene Zuu was allowed to exist as a museum only; the only functioning monastery in Mongolia was Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. However, after the fall of Communism in Mongolia in 1990, the monastery was turned over to the lamas and Erdene Zuu again became a place of worship. Today Erdene Zuu remains an ...
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Erdene Zuu Monastery
Erdene Zuu Monastery

Mein Erfahrungsbericht aus der Mongolei   (published in Mongolia)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)


Was macht man, wenn man sein Abitur in der Tasche hat? Diese Frage habe ich mich mehrmals vor meinem Abschluss gestellt. Es gibt die Abenteuerlustigen, die ein Jahr entweder reisen oder einfach ein Jahr Auszeit nehmen und es gibt diejenigen, die sofort im Oktober studieren gehen. Ich wusste absolut nicht was ich machen sollte und habe deswegen im Internet recherchiert und Projects Abroad gefunden, die auch Praktika fuer Nicht-Studenten im Bereich Human Rights in mehreren Laendern anbieten und auch in einem Zeitraum, der es mir moeglich machte mein Studium dasselbe Jahr beginnen zu koennen. Damit war fuer mich alles klar. Ich komme raus fuer einen Monat, lerne eine absolut neue Kultur kennen und nebenbei noch als Freiwillige versuchen in einem Entwicklungsland zu helfen, soweit man kann. Fuer mich war diese Kultur und dieses Entwicklungsland defintiv die Mongolei. Und ich bin so gluecklich, dass ich diesen Schritt gewagt habe. Die Erfahrungen und neuen Situationen, denen ich gegenueberstand haben mir bewiesen, dass man nur durch Offenheit und Reisen sich weiterbilden kann.

Projects Abroad hat mir so viel geboten. Saemtliche Informationen und Hilfestellungen vor und waehrend der Reise, die Auswahl meiner Gastfamilie, Angebote und Programme waehrend der Wochenenden und besonders Freundlichkeit der Arbeiter vor Ort.

Der Anfang meiner Reise war zwar holprig, da Aeroflot meinen Koffer irgendwo hingeschickt hatte, wo ich nicht war, aber ich habe ihn schliesslich nach zwei Tagen wieder bekommen. Abgesehen von diesem Fakt waren aber meine ersten Tage der absolute Hammer. Nachdem ich vom Projects Abroad Staff am Flughafen abgeholt wurde, brachten sie mich direkt zu meiner Gastfamilie, von denen zu diesem Moment zwar nur zwei Mitglieder, die Oma und einer der Soehne, da ...

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Mein Erfahrungsbericht aus der Mongolei
Mein Erfahrungsbericht aus der Mongolei

Host Article of our volunteer Georges Drouet   (published in Mongolia)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Living with my host family in Mongolia

The first time I am introduced to my family I already felt the traditional Mongolian welcoming reputation, I was offered some milk tee and sweets. Since then I became a real addict to this beverage and every time I came back home from my work I always got my hot milk tee waiting for me.

In that first day I meet all the members of my host family. First my host mother “Tseegii” who was nine moth pregnant at that time, she always liked me to talk about my Mexican origins and culture then my host father “Boldoo” very friendly to me since the beginning and always curious about learning new English words, then the two children a girl of fourteen years old “Amara” and boy of ten years old “Orgil” lovely children with which I always loved to play games, and finally I met the grandmother “Horoloo” but we all call her “Adia” which means mother in Mongolian, she was always giving me sweets which was really nice.

During my stay my family had always care about my comfort or if I needed anything. Every morning they always prepared me nice breakfast and they often prepared typical Mongolian dishes which really feed my need to discovered new Mongolian things. So I taste food like the noodles or dumplings in milk soup and as the Mongolian way lots of lamb meatJ. One day I bought a traditional Mongolian cloth “Del” and it was really funny when the all family was teaching me about how to put it.

One day my host mother came back from the bhoudist temple, she asked about her baby and the Lama told her that it was going to be a very healthy one. The same evening she started having contraction and she suddenly told that her waters had broken. So the all family together ...

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Host Article of our volunteer Georges Drouet
Host Article of our volunteer Georges Drouet

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