Friday, September 10, 2010

August was great!

The church has sponsored a large gardening project in Mongolia.  They provide seeds and tools and training for the people to grow gardens.  Some learn to garden well enough to produce food to sell.  I stumbled (almost literally) upon this well among the tall grass.  I hope they only use this water to water the  garden.     This family had a nice garden and even a green house.
In August we visited Choilbasan, in the eastern part of Mongolia near China.  Here is a monument to the soldiers who fought there under General Choilbasan.  They were able to stop the Japanese in World War II from reaching Russia by crossing Mongolia. 

Many of the buildings in Mongolia were build during the Russian Era, from about 1920's to about 1990's.  Here in Choilbasan we saw many Russian pictures on the buildings.
Our purpose in visiting Choilbasan was to get to know the doctors and see what the hospital is like in case our missionaries need to use it.  Here we are with the missionary who translated for us as we are getting ready to tour the operating room.  Most hospitals in Mongolia are sorely lacking in equipment and supplies.  This one actually had quite a bit of equipment that worked.

We usually take time wherever we go to offer medical advice to missionaries, members, and others who want to see us.  These were waiting for us when we arrived at the church.  In all, we saw 50 patients in two evenings.  There was a wide variety of health problems, some very serious.
On our last day in Choibasan we visited their historical museum which was very interesting.  It is on the outskirts of town where no taxis come by, so we waited in the rain in a leaky bus shelter for a taxi (or two!)  The Choilbasan missionaries were with us.
We visited a couple of member's homes.  This lady has been a member only a few months.  She has 5 children including a two-year-old and twin babies.  Her home was very humble but her spirit was wonderful. 
Many Mongolians (and other Asians) are very flexible.  This girl is demonstrating a contortionist dance.
Flying back to Ulaanbaatar, we encountered bad weather so we flew on to the next airport--Murun.  We spent part of the night there in a very cold ger, which we shared with two women and a two-year-old child.  It had snowed the day before and we were freezing because they couldn't seem to light the fire in our fireplace. Who would have thought we would need warm clothes in August!  We were happy, however, to be safe.
Mongolians collect "ankle bones" from sheep, chew the meet and sinew off of them, and use them for games--sort of like playing with marbles.  Here are some of the seniors playing a horse race game with the ankle bones. 

Anyone want some pork for dinner?  We see every part of the animals in the meat markets.  Sometimes the meat still has the hairy skin on the outside.
New missionaries have arrived!  All abut one were Mongolians.  We do a health training session with all new missionaries.
We got sister missionaries too!

This is part of a Mongolian Circus.  It was too dark for most of my pictures.  There were no animals in the circus--just a clown and various acrobatic acts and contortionists. It was very interesting.  

Summer in Mongolia is a time when many people go to the "countryside."  Traffic becomes less in the city, and we get a break from some of our English teaching assignments.  We enjoyed the time to travel and catch up on our other responsibilities.  We love the Mongolian people.  They have lots of patience and truly help each other.

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