Six students from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College trek across Mongolia in search of illumination, perspective, and the perfect cup of Yak-milk tea.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bayertai, Baby
(Or: Taking the Country By Strohm)

    Foolish Mortals, People of Earth, and other friends of the GQKMSC team:
This will most likely be the last post I make from Mongolia. The adventure that started nearly three months ago is coming to a close. I have worked in a Mongolian hospital, I have seen the Gobi, and most importantly, I have heard a Mongolian bar band play Bob Dylan favorites while the sun dipped behind the Ulaan Bataar skyline. They later played a Spanish guitar version of Happy Birthday, but I think everyone there pretty much agreed to pretend it never happened.
    I am proud to announce that though this is my last post from Mongolia, it will not be Team GQKMSC's last post. Our fearless and intrepid advocate for free press and open society, J. Elizabeth Strohm, will be returning to the empire of Genghis Khan for the fall semester. Upon her return, she will be taking over blog duties for the team and will keep the adventure going for us all.
    I want to keep this short, as I've never been particularly good at goodbyes. This has been a wonderful trip, both on a personal and a professional level. Though I didn't accomplish all I had hoped to, I believe I return to the United States with a much more realistic understanding of the sheer difficulty of undertaking public health projects in the developing world. This trip would not have been possible without the support, guidance, and masterful kung-fu instruction of the University Honors College. If you're interested in the UHC and their other activities, check them out at or stop by. Strange and wonderful things are afoot on the 35th and 36th floors of the Cathedral. If you've been reading this blog and are interested in joining the adventure in the future, please don't hesitate to contact myself ( or the UHC for further details.
   This will turn into an endless list of thank-yous and goodbyes if I don't stop at some point, and this seems as good a place as any to do so. One last thing: if you ever find yourself in a little Gobi town called Sainshend, wait until dark and then look up at the sky. I won't give it away here, but trust'll knock your dell off.
    This is Akshar Abbott, signing off. You stay classy, Ulaan Bataar.