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Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
1:21 am - Hooray for Ummei
Today was kitty six month checkup day. I'm beginning to think I have the most expensive vet ever ($180 for basic exam, no shots for 2 kitties), but she's really good and that's a topic for another day.

The important thing to come out of today is that Ummei lost ONE WHOLE POUND in the last six months!!! Woohoo!

Now, I realize that sounds ridiculously tiny so let me put this in perspective: Imagine I weighed 203 pounds. Now imagine I lost 10.5 pounds in six months. That's what Ummei did. I'm soooo proud of her. I'm not sure we can keep up that rate, but it's really encouraging to see all the extra work I put in to feeding her a special diet is paying off.

The downside is that Desi has lost almost the entire pound she had gained at the last visit. Soooo... the current plan is to arrange with Sam to use his truck to pick up some wood and make a 4' tall pedestal to keep a permanent food source out for Desi. I figure if Ummei loses enough weight to get to jump that high, it's okay for her to eat it. :)

And now, time to stop avoiding work again.

current mood: elated and tired

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Monday, May 7th, 2007
11:35 am - English Materials for Mongolia
I'm posting this publicly in case anyone wants to link to it. I'm not including Colleen's addresses in this post due to its public nature, but if you don't already have either/both of them, feel free to ask me and to pass them along to anyone you would want mailing packages or sending email to *your* sister. :)

My name is Colleen McMillon, and I am a Peace Corps volunteer in Uliastai, Mongolia. I am helping my school create an English Resource Room for students and teachers. My school currently has 740 students and 34 teachers. All students study English from the 4th grade through the 11th grade, as Mongolia is very eager for young people and others to become fluent in English. Some of the teachers are also trying to learn English.

Right now we have a few books, but they are mostly high school level textbooks, which are too advanced for the students. We have no listening materials, games, and very few teaching materials. English books here are expensive and difficult to find, so my school is not able to buy books, games, etc. for the English room. There is also not a library here in Uliastai with good English reading materials. My school would greatly appreciate anything that you could donate to help us create this room. We certainly do not need new items, used would be wonderful. Below is a list of ideas for items that we could use.

  • children's books (1st grade through 6th grade)
  • youth books
  • games to help practice English
  • posters to decorate the room
  • listening materials (CDs or tapes)
  • English movies
  • teaching materials (pictures of objects, etc.)

Anything you could donate would be greatly appreciated by all our students and teachers. If you would like to donate, please send items to the following address. M-bag or ground mail would be the cheapest way to send items. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me by email [address deleted for internet post - pls request privately]. I usually check my email once a week.



As for what's appropriate to send, there aren't really any taboos about magic or sex, but while some Asimov, Harry Potter, cheesy romance novels, and Judy Blume books are okay, you probably shouldn't send any "Playboys".

For posters, she did ask if I knew any bands that would be willing to donate posters, so if you have some old band, movie, or geek posters from your bachelor/ette years, this would be a good way to recycle them. :)

Also, if you would like to donate, but find the mailing costs prohibitive (especially for non-book material), talk to me and I'll probably mail them for you along with her next care package.

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