Tuesday, July 6, 2010

June part 2

This is a continuation of the blog for June.  June 23 and 24th we had a "senior outing" for senior missionaries.  Below you can see us getting ready to leave.

Our first stop was at "Thirteenth Century" a theme park to show what Chingis Khaan's camps were like.  He developed a series of camps for different purposes.  This is his guard camp and was used to train guards.  This was the flag of Chingis Khaan--the valcon on a  blue sky.  Do you recognize this fierce Mongolian Warrior?If you look closely you can see that this camel's humps are bending over--it needs more water!  (Mongolian camels are Bactrian or two-humped camels.)

This was the herdsmen and family camp.  They get cashmere from the goats by combing them in the early spring.  Cashmere sweaters are very soft!  The sheep are sheared with large scissors. 

Here is a Mongolian family.

A warrior and his fair maiden.....

At one of the camps they had a "king's ger."  Supposedly this is where Chingiss Khaan would have lived and enterntained when he was in the area.
This picture is from the Religious Camp.  Shamanism is the ancient religion of Mongolia before Buddhism was brought in.  There were five types of Shamans--from 5 parts of Mongolia.  They don't talk much about their beliefs.  Many Mongolians today are afraid of Shamans. 
This large statue of Chingis Khaan is quite new.  When you visit this statue you can go inside and come out on the horse's head to enjoy the view.   Chingis is holding a golden whip.  There is a saying, "Every Mongolian can conquer the world if he takes his whip in his hand."
Our lodgings for the night were quite comfortable!In the morning we went for a horse ride.This is a view from a monastery high up a mountainside.  When the Russians came to Mongolia they killed most of the Buddhist Monks (by getting the populace to do the killing).  100 escaped from here and hid out in some nearby caves.

These cannisters go around when you push the handle to "roll" them.  You put names on a paper and put them in the prayer "roll" and it helps those people to be healed.These cannisters went all the way around the monastery.  This monastery is used today by people who want to be healed.  (Personally I think if you could make the climb to the monastery you probably had pretty good health!)

Here is "Hor-Hog" being prepared.  It is much like a dutch oven stew, but they put hot rocks from the fire inside with the meat and vegetables to help it cook.  When it is done people take the hot rocks in their hands and pass them quickly from hand to hand and back.  This is supposed to be good for your health also.  Just don't burn your hands! On this day we were at a camp in the countryside as part of our Summer English Camp (more below).

We taught a two-week English Camp for the teachers of English at the Health Sciences University.  Most of them were Russian teachers, but when the Russians left about 17 years ago they had to start teaching English. We really enjoyed getting to know these Mongolians better.  During the academic year we also teach English at the University.  Two students from BYU Hawaii came to help with the camp. They are in the red and white shirts near the middle.  We consider working with these people and others we teach one of the rewards for coming here.  They are a very special people.

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