Beginning on July 2nd, all of the M25 PCTs came together again in Darkhan for Mid-Center Days, which is another 3 and a half days of Peace Corps training approximately halfway through PST. We stayed at the Darkhan Hotel again (which has wifi in the lobbies! Score!) and had lots of training and informational sessions all day long at the Humanities University. Then in the evenings we had free time to get dinner, go shopping, etc. On one of the nights we had a media exchange to share movies, TV shows, and ebooks between each other’s hard drives. On Thursday all of us Health PCTs and a few of the current Health Volunteers went out to dinner at a restaurant that actually served pizza (which is obviously not available in little Dereven). It was absolutely delicious, and I probably had 5 or 6 slices!
Then Friday was the 4th of July, so when we went back to the hotel for lunch, we saw that the Peace Corps staff had decorated the dining room with American flags and had gotten the chefs to make us all hamburgers, hotdogs, and French fries!
Then in the evening a group of us went on a “hike” to a big field right outside the city to have a picnic, chat, throw around a Frisbee, kick around a soccer ball, and play with one of the current PCV’s adorable puppy!
On Saturday we had a half day of sessions and then headed back to our respective sites. It was really nice to get to see everyone from the other sites, especially since we didn’t see each other again until Final Center Days and Swearing-In in the middle of August. Oh yeah—and on two of the nights we stayed at the hotel there were crazy parties going on until the wee hours of the morning in a giant tent right in the parking lot (which was conveniently on the side of the hotel my room was on…), so we all got very little sleep and barely made it through all the long sessions. As soon as I got back home from Mid-Center Days I took a glorious, much needed 5-hour nap.