I’ve decided to let money not stand in the way of fun during my first week in Mongolia and it seems all geeks agree on this one. The only real exceptions are Bob and Henry, who both are on a more relaxed budget due to various reasons and basically can spend whatever they like.
The result is that we’ve been eating and drinking out a lot over the past couple of days. Even yesterday, when we all had planted on going to bed early, we couldn’t resist the temptation of another arkhi and another arkhi and another arkhi and another…
Since we still do have something of a schedule to adhere to, we have to get out of bed early each and every day. I’m looking forward to the weekend.
Today we had to sit through a speech by the American ambassador. We’ve been having a lot of contact with people from the American embassy and I had been wondering why. It seems we’ve got three different contact points within the embassy, of which Hulan is one. Yesterday, I finally learned why. USAID, a US government sponsored international development program, is the sole sponsor of this second group of geeks in Mongolia. I’m not sure if USAID is behind IESC or that USAID has sponsored IESC (and therefore Geekcorps) on this one occasion only.
The result of this setup is that we ‘are here because it is in the interest of America’. The exact thing I wouldn’t be hot about, being anywhere doing anything. I wondered for a moment if, would I have known upfront, I would still have agreed on going to Mongolia, but I probably would have. The experience itself will hopefully be worth it by far.
I’ve been asked to act as a juror for the 2003 Mongolian web awards. No clue as to what this will really mean, but next Monday, I have to spend a couple of hours judging some twenty websites in three categories.