Peace Corps in My Own Words

This post is in response to the recent NY Times article on the death of Nick Castle, a volunteer serving in China at the same time I was serving in Mongolia. You can read the article in its entirety (as well as a link to other volunteer stories) here. Volunteers have been sharing their experiences […]

Read More Peace Corps in My Own Words

The Things I Never Wrote

I’m back in America, and it’s been a strange process of reintegrating back into American culture. Looking back, trying to process everything, there were many subjects I started drafts on, or contemplating writing about, but never got around to doing. There were cutesy things, like the best and worst list I had planned to compose. […]

Read More The Things I Never Wrote


English My Love, I cannot go outside today; It is snowing. I will not come but I will wait. When the sun comes out, I will enter your life again. Mongolian (Modern) Амраг минь би гадаа өнөөдөр гарч чадахгүй гадаа цас орж байн. Би чамруу очиж чадахгүй гэхдээ би хүлээнэ. Нар гармагц, бид хамтдаа байх […]

Read More Vertical

Kazakh Crafts

Mongolia has a very large Kazakh population, mostly concentrated in the western aimags of Khovd, Uvs, and particularly in Bayan-Ulgii. They bring with them their own unique culture and outlook on life, as well as a treasure trove of traditions. Aside from the well-known tradition of eagle hunting [link], their handiwork is probably their most […]

Read More Kazakh Crafts

Horn Bows

One unique tradition that still exists in Mongolia is the making of bows from animal horns. One such “factory” exists in my old training site, Dulaankhaan, out in Selenge aimag. While visiting my host family and language teacher, I managed to visit where they make the bows. The factory itself is very unassuming: narrow, chipped […]

Read More Horn Bows

Final Night

Smelling the emptiness of the place that was once filled with familiar sounds and sights to tickle my breaths, one can’t help but imagine where everything used to be placed with the utmost care and think about how quickly it was all taken down. Composed 06/07/14 Author’s Note: This is the last poem I have […]

Read More Final Night

Mongolia Miscellany

I’ve encountered some interesting tidbits my two years in Mongolia, but some were not enough to stretch out into an entire post. Here’s a few bits of miscellaneous items I’ve learned about Mongolia and Mongolian culture. 1. There is a superstition that if silence befalls a group of friends or acquaintances, it means that a baby […]

Read More Mongolia Miscellany


  Kneeling before the neon pink goddess, hands cupped in prayer, then splayed out to receive her divine waters and throw them upon my dirty body. The waters darken, my knees ache, and the floor around begins to get bespeckled with my messy aim. Running my hands over my neck and ears, underarms and feet, […]

Read More Tumpin


When Mongolians head to the countryside for a vacation, they like to a special kind of cooking known as khorhog. The process involves heating stones and placing them along with meat and vegetables into a metal canister that is sealed shut. The pressure is what ends up cooking it, but sometimes, you don’t have a […]

Read More Khorhog