Grassroots Comics

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I picked up on the work of Leif Packalen and grassroots comics from Finland,, and started introducing these great ideas into my school and community. I worked alongside another Peace Corps Volunteer at my site to create anti-smoking/ anti-tobacco posters for the local Health Department and my school. Later, we held two workshops for my students and they were able to draw out their ideas about drinking and smoking in the Mongolian context.

Here are a few that Jessica and I put together ** click on the link!:


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Here are two from the students, **click on the link!:

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I also pitched and helped the teachers create a shadow play dramatizing the negative consequences of drinking and smoking.

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I’m in UB for the next two weeks helping to train and share ideas with the new class of Community and Youth Development Volunteers!

Halloween and other fun






The past few weeks have been entertaining and busy. My counterpart and I have been busy working on implementing our mentoring program, an eco-awareness program utilizing a hawk mascot that we crafted, and are now in the midst of an alcohol and tobacco awareness campaign. We’ve also been working on smaller events like a chalk-art activity, teaching students how to create comics to talk about social issues, and I’ve been working on a trafficking in persons comic to build awareness in schools.

On the 31st of October we celebrated Halloween with thrilling activities like Witch Limbo, Mummy Races, and Ghost Busters.

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A little boy is going under the limbo line and about to win the whole competition and was carried around on the shoulders of other students. No joke.

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This was the game we called “Ghost Busters.” Those are panty hose on his head with potatoes in the legs and he is trying to knock over the ghost bottles.

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Here, I am painting the portrait of a local Bactrian Camel.

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Waiting to get my haircut at the Grace Salon.

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The local water tower.

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This is our environmental mascot that my counterpart and I made. We used styrofoam and foam padding to create the head and then we paid a local seamstress to sew a cloth “mask” onto the form. My counterpart will wear this to primary grade classrooms and speak about environmental issues of Mongolia and around the world.

This is an art carpet project that my students did along with other participating schools in the States and Mongolia.

This is an art carpet project that my students did along with other participating schools in the States and Mongolia.

Art at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering!


I received some incredible photos from my art show, which celebrates the cowboy poet and hero Georgie Sicking. Thanks to all of you who made this possible, from the custom frame builder to the all the folks in Elko who celebrate Western heritage including cowboy poetry. Of course, I give my utmost respect and thanks to Georgie who lives life her way and the rest of the cowboy poets and their families who stand behind the life and art of cowboy poetry!
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Thailand & the new school year










The school year in Mongolia recently started and I am busy back at work. Since the start of September I’ve been creating some propaganda materials such as one expressing what Volunteers should be wearing in Mongolia. What people dress is extremely important and dressing below professional standards can take chips off a person’s credibility. I’ve also been creating another short comic about my experience with the theme, “It’s not how many breaths you take…”

Another great opportunity fell into my lap and I was sent to Bangkok, Thailand to participate in a workshop to address School Related Gender Based Violence. The workshop was informative, valuable, and inspiring. There are many things that we, as educators and social workers, can strive for in schools and ensuring gender equality is one of them. When students are mistreated and suffer the psychological, physical, and sexual harms of gender based violence they may not meet their immense potential. I met many extraordinary PC Volunteers and their counterparts from several countries including Albania, Azerbaijan, Kyrgz Republic, Thailand, Armenia, and Indonesia. It was wonderful to participate with other game changers who wanted to work to create environments where children thrive.

During my down time I was able to go out and explore Bangkok. Things I won’t forget about Bangkok: the food, a bike tour, China Town, the temples, a boat trip with dancing, the amazing art (Museum Of Contemporary Art was out of this world!), and all the smiling Thai people.

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China Town
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On the Subway
14.9.24 BangkokRiverBoatOur River Cruise with Dancing and Dinner

Sam’s Trip & Adventure in Arkhangai

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Sam flew to Mongolia where I was anxiously waiting and doodling to keep from pacing.

We spent a week at my site in Choir so she could see how I am living and ease into preparing for our 90 mile trek and horseback riding experience in the Arkhangai province.


SaminMongolia65It was great to be with Samantha in the outdoors and for the both of us one of the longest treks we’ve ever done. Where we were hiking was in a long, flat valley split by weaving river and crowded by mountains on both sides.


SaminMongolia44We felt very small in an place that is so vast.


14.8.17- SaminMongolia17The river meandered through a beautiful valley that was teeming with many different species of birds such as vultures, hawks, cranes, and swans who flew above the wandering herds of yaks, sheep, goats, and horses.



14.8.17- SaminMongolia19We were fortunate to meet a wonderful German couple, Nino and Louise, to do the trek with us. They were great travel partners and friends. Throughout our hike we met Mongolian herder families. Some were as enthusiastic about fishing as I was (but not as much as the fly-fisherman Nino) and would join us at the riversides.


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This was my first fish of the trip! A little Greyling.


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This was my trophy Lenok Trout.


SaminMongolia38It was so much fun learning how to do a fishing trek with Sam. We were rookies at the beginning, but we got the hang of tying our lures, catching fish, cleaning them on the riverbank, and frying ‘em up for dinner.

It was sad to watch Sam go and end our trip, but there are more good things coming! She is a beautiful woman and we share a remarkable relationship that makes me full of love and appreciation every moment!


14.8.24 On the Train

After she left I took the train back to Choir sans mustache.


14.8.24 TrainOfficerThis man waved my train off with stoic salutation.


14.8.24 BarbershopTo get fully cleaned up I went to Grace’s Salon in Choir for a high and tight.

Last night, I woke up at three a.m. and couldn’t go back to bed. I’ve been reading and admiring Shel Silverstein’s work and doodled up my own whimsical ideas in his style based on the first rough lines of poems that bubbled up in my mind.

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There’s an itch on my back that I can’t quite catch.

14.8.25 PoDraw- Fight with my bed

I had a fight with my bed last night ’cause it woke me up at three.

During the past two days I was enjoying the annual celebration of Naadam, which is an event centered around the three sports of archery, horse racing, and wrestling. I spent most of my time watching wrestling and was most pleased when two of my students participated. One made it to the championship round in his age group and earned 2nd place! A few weeks ago I worked with a friend to put an article and illustrations about people from my school into a Mongolian magazine. 14.7.7 MagazineCover114.7.7 Magazine1.114.7.7 Magazine1.2   I also had an illustration featured in a reeeeal snazzy Mongolian magazine. You can find this one in most upscale Mongolian cafes or magazine reading places. The piece is a wonderfully researched story about a Mongolian conservationist who lived a long life as a hunter and later spent his life telling people to preserve nature. 14.7.7 MagazineCover2 14.7.7 Magazine2Here are my Naadam sketches. Sketching out in public brings me a lot of satisfaction and creates magic that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t practice art in public places. I am able to pull people into wonderful interactions that are very special to me and (I believe) others who are involved. My favorite moments are when people notice something to laugh at in a picture that I’ve drawn and then reflect on how the reality is just as amazing and funny when you look at it with the right creative perspective. Imagine Mongolians looking at the 2nd and 3rd to last pictures and pointing out the actual people and and things from the pictures and from reality and having a chuckle. Tying the two together, public art and reality, is a magically interactive process that I feel lucky to create and be a part of.

14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam1 14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam2 14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam3 14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam4 14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam5 14.7.8 MoleskinNaadam6   Speaking of public art, I took a weekend trip to UB and while at the hostel I met a researcher (in the background) on her way back to England from the jungles of Vietnam. Somehow she brought up art and then found ourselves sharing our common interest of doodling outdoors. We went to the main square to draw the upcoming rock show scene and two boys amongst the many to look over our shoulders started speaking with us. One mentioned he was an artist and wanted to draw me so I gave him a sketchbook and pencil and told him, “While you draw me, I am going to draw you.” We drew each other for about 30 minutes and then exchanged the drawings we did. 14.6.30 PleinAirComp214.6.30 PleinAirComp1 I’ve also printed my first rough draft book with a large selection of my 1st year illustrations and top-of-the-head writing. Right now the book is about 160 pages of unedited illustrations and text. I am going to continue developing the book to cover my two years in Mongolia. I’m pleased with the the first vision, but looking forward to adding more depth and experiences to to collection. Peace Corps Book Cover This is the logo I designed for my upcoming Agaa Egee program at my school. I’ve invested a lot of time developing the concept along with the help of some old Peace Corps Volunteers. I’ve created a good starting manual to organize the program and also am doing my Masters research to assess the outcomes of the project. My goal is to create a program that builds feelings of connectedness and self-esteem. I’ll write more about that later! Print Lastly, I was involved in the redrafting and redesign of the new Peace Corps Mongolia language manual. I worked with an excellent team and spent dozens of hours working on the book to create something very creative and helpful for the future volunteers. I was very happy to put in a lot of my illustrations, which are wrapped around amazing language learning content provided by some very intelligent volunteers.   Cover_Final

China and Yesterday

Here are a few photos of my mom’s trip to Mongolia and to China.

Going to a shrine.

Going to a shrine.

In front of the big Genghis Khan statue in Ulan Bator.

In front of the big Genghis Khan statue in Ulan Bator.

The ladies. My mother, an English teacher, and the School Director.

The ladies. My mother, an English teacher, and the School Director.

Mom and our guide.

Mom and our guide.

Taking the evening to sketch.

Taking the evening to sketch.

Climbing up a steep section of the Great Wall.

Climbing up a steep section of the Great Wall.

What is she doing!?

What is she doing!?

In the Forbidden City.

In the Forbidden City.

A plein air day near the soccer competition.

A plein air day near the soccer competition.