A week ago, we flew from Seattle to Denver to start our training and orientation prior to the final move to Mongolia. Like the genius that I am, I decided to wear a Seahawks sweatshirt into Broncos country. (Fortunately, Eric remembered before we got off the plane so I could take it off and avoid getting burned at the stake.) Saying goodbye to the folks at the curb was really hard. There were tears all around and hugs that I didn’t want to end. Once inside the airport, a couple of the young men from our local fellowship came to see us off, so we got more hugs and well wishes there. It was nice to see everyone one last time before we made the super long trek to our gate.
Nothing too exciting happened on the plane ride from Seattle to Denver, although the guy sitting to Eric’s left was snoring. The flight was not too long, and we had minimal turbulence. I think the worst part of the flight was realizing once again that airplanes for domestic flights just aren’t made for anyone who isn’t a petite 5’4″. In general, I think we were just too excited to get to the next phase of this move that it didn’t really matter!
In Denver, we connected with the rest of our future team, which was great! It was fun to meet up with our new colleagues and get to know each other a bit. In total, there are seven of us heading to Mongolia–four young women, a young man from Australia, and the two of us. We are a diverse group, and I can already tell that we are going to get along well!
Currently, we are staying at the UNC campus in Greeley. We have a pleasant little suite in the dorms to ourselves with a nice view of the campus. Most of our days are full of classes and informational sessions. Completing the coursework for TEFL certification and learning all the ins and outs of moving to Asia takes a lot of time! The last week has been challenging, but a lot of fun. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people who want to teach overseas has been a blast!
Hot dang it’s cold in Seattle these days. Yesterday, we stood in downtown Seattle for many hours so that we could watch the Seahawks Victory Parade. It was a blast, but it was anywhere between 20-30F with lots of wind blowing up from Puget Sound. This morning, when I left my home for the bus, it was ~18F. Let me tell you, my fingers got awfully cold awfully fast.
This is a rather unusual cold snap for the Seattle area because usually February is fairly mild. In fact, a few years ago, I went to a friend’s wedding in mid-February and got away without wearing a jacket or long pants. I wore a sundress and a lace bolero and was perfectly comfortable in the warm sunshine. So February is the tease of spring to come, March and sometimes April are like late winter, and then we have spring-like weather from May-June. All this to say, February should not be this cold, but it is cold and me no likey.
All of that to say that I am growing increasingly worried about how in the world I will be able to survive the cold in Ulaanbaatar next year. As I type this post, the weather in UB is -9F/-23C at 5:30am. I don’t think I’ve ever been in negative degree weather. I grew up in equatorial Africa, and I am only kind of used to the weather here in Seattle, so how in the world do I dress for Mongolian winters? Seriously, I need some help figuring out how to plan for that amount of cold.