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Projects Abroad in Mongolia

Mongolia, Projects Abroad in Mongolia - La Minerva

Volunteers fly into Ulaanbaatar airport early in the morning. After a short walk off the plane through to the arrival lounge, you will be greeted by Oko Togtuuny, our Director for Mongolia.

You'll jump in a car, and head for your accommodation. Host-families are friendly and eager to learn all about our volunteers. They are middle class families, living in good accommodation (usually flats) in the city.

After a good night's rest and some home-made Mongolian food, Oko will pick you up the next morning for your tour of the city. All the normal stops are included - you'll be shown where to change your money, the post office, internet cafés (yes they do exist even in Mongolia!) and important landmarks. Oko is very keen for his volunteers to see as much as possible, so he may even take you to the museum or to the local monastery to visit the monks!

You'll have some lunch and perhaps meet up with some other volunteers. Depending on the time and your programme, you may be introduced to your placement during the afternoon. If not, Oko will pick you up and take you the next day.

Mongolia, Projects Abroad in Mongolia - Volunteer with Host Family

Minibuses are the quickest and most popular form of public transport, and they go everywhere in Ulaanbaatar. They also stop anywhere - all you have to do is put your hand out to halt one. There are also over two thousand yellow taxis in the city, and plenty of ordinary buses.

Telephone calls are another interesting experience. Whilst the city has public phones which volunteers can use to call home, you may want to consider using someone in the street. Some entrepreneurial Mongolians have phones that they stand outside with which you can certainly use for local calls. If you need to contact your local family or another volunteer, they'll charge around 15p.

Mongolians eat lots of meat - mainly beef and mutton in dumplings. This is served with rice and vegetables including potatoes, carrots, cabbages and onions. Stews are very popular. If you would like a change, Ulaanbaatar even has Italian, Indian and Thai restaurants. Because of their close proximity, and history, Chinese and Korean food is also widespread. It is certainly possible to be a vegetarian in Mongolia, but you will have to keep explaining!

Finally - be warned, Karaoke is big in Mongolia and one of Oko's favourite Projects Abroad nights out is an evening at the local karaoke bar. This is something you should experience at least once (but maybe not twice!).

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