NYE

New Year’s Celebration #1 was the office party. We had a week-long kick off with the “monito” (like a secret Santa) who left small gifts on your desk every day. This was great: a pack of cookies, some gummy snacks, a juice box. The party was at a restaurant that was decked out as if for Christmas. A musician brought his murin huur, but played only one song live; the rest of the evening he was the DJ. I tell you, the dancing was nonstop and everyone got up there at some point. No wallflowers allowed! In between the songs, there were games and end-of-the-year staff awards. There was also a raffle of home items from the department: rice cooker, iron, even a washing machine! Finally, there was the gift to your “monito” (which in my office was not the same person you’d been giving gifts to all week, but the person you’d been receiving from). Our limit was 20,000 togrogs (about $12) and I got my guy (I was told it was a young guy) a nice sweater for exactly that much. The evening lasted over 5 hours and I’m sure I can say a good time was had by all.

Mongolian(s) waltzing.

Mongolian(s) waltzing.

The two-people-eat-one-apple game.

The two-people-eat-one-apple game.

The pass-a-card-in-a-circle-without-using-your-hands game.

The pass-a-card-in-a-circle-without-using-your-hands game.

The monito gift exchange.

The monito gift exchange.

The raffle winner of the new washing machine.

The raffle winner of the new washing machine.

The champagne toast.

The champagne toast.

New Year’s Celebration #2 was the school party. I’d imagined a small-scale, classroom-based affair, but no. This was school-wide and so it had to be in the gym. It also included awards (for the outstanding seniors), dancing (choreographed), students playing morin huur, Winter Grandpa, kids in animal costumes, and two kids in clown costumes who were really obnoxious, but I think that was their job. I wish I could have stayed longer but not knowing it was such a big event, I’d only allowed myself two hours.

Principal recognizing the graduating class.

Principal recognizing the graduating class.

One of the many dance performances.

One of the many dance performances. The clowns are trying to pick up the dance in the back corners.

Winter Grandpa, appreciating the kids' show.

Winter Grandpa, appreciating the kids’ show.

Kids playing that gorgeous morin huur.

Kids playing that gorgeous morin huur. A shot where the clowns aren’t misbehaving.

New Year’s Celebration #3 was with my CP’s family on New Year’s Eve. It was a quiet evening at their home, which seems to be the norm, at least in Govi-Altai. The TV was on, but the channel was changed quite a bit. I arrived at 10pm but was still given food to eat. At midnight, we toasted with champagne and ate cake. This was the same routine we’d followed last year, just the 5 of us. And it occurred to me that I won’t be there next New Year’s Eve. The Mongolian president came on TV, in a ger surrounded by people I am to assume are his family, and he toasted the New Year with milk tea. Also, my CP said that he thanked the foreigners living in Mongolia, helping to move the country forward. Boo-yah.

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3 Responses to NYE

  1. Robin says:

    Love it!

  2. Priscilla A. Arsenault says:

    So many beautiful pictures! All the celebrations sound wonderful and unique.

  3. Kathy P. Willis says:

    Oh, sorry I missed this one when you sent it – had company from out of state & didn’t see it. Wow, they sure know how to par-tay!! Glad you had a good time. Even though it’s sad you won’t be in Mongolia for next year’s festivities, we’re all VERY glad you’ll be home. ❤

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