Sunday, October 23, 2005

I thought our view of the school yard with calves keeping the weeds down might interest you. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Horse Drawn Carts...

...can be seen everywhere, doing important jobs delivering furniture and building materials. We saw a piano being moved Saturday night with one of these. But this week Renee called me over to our window and said "Look". This guy way right outside our entry to deliver a bed. Posted by Picasa

Still nice enough weather to play outsite our doorway. It's nice being on the first-floor. Posted by Picasa

Lydia got some extra time outside today and gave this kid a precious piece of styrofoam.

Horse Hand 1 - This guy has in front of him a huge jug of milk that he was selling. He must have carried it to town from the farm riding on his horse...a pretty small pony. His hat is a traditional Mongolian favorite. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


It has been on my mind the past couple of days to insert a peice about the
beautiful Mongolian people that we encounter every day. So far we have
tended toward the tangibles... physical surroundings and events. Let's
face it, our language is so basic at this point that our interaction is mostly
limited to short phrases and facial expressions. Nevertheless, there is a
multitude of things to be discovered even with these limitations. I tend to
be a little more long-winded than Jer in my writing, but I will try to give a
brief painting:)

Children: There are many children!!!! They begin "Kindergarten" (our daycare/preschool)
at age two here, although not all attend. We live next to one of these Kindergartens.
We can hear the children crying when dropped off in the morning. Every little girl I see
has her hair neatly combed and usually in braids or pigtails--and it seems to stay
that way! I have to learn from them! The elementary girls all wear big, really big, white
bows in their hair. While the weather is still tolerable, the children reign in the courtyards.
Although most of the actual outdoor toys are ruined or gone, they always seem to have
something to play. I saw a group of girls making "soup" outside our window yesterday.
(For those of you who may not know, this is Maggie and Lydia's favorite pastime). I have
met several new mothers with babies Johanna's age. The babies are usually bundled in
almost a down blanket which is then tied with string from neck to toes to keep them tightly
. All that shows is wonderful chubby cheeks and a stocking cap clad head. The boys
all love to practice wrestling, and actual fighting is not uncommon either. Uniforms are worn
to school. The boys wear little pinstripe suits, and the girls, skirts and pinafores. There are
no buses here, so everyone walks or taxis to and from school. Usually they are in no hurry to
get home and I see them with backpack still on at 6 pm walking with friends. They love
to practice their English; and will follow you saying, "hello" over and over and laughing.
Sometimes they laugh hysterically as they repeat your own conversation they overheard in
English. Ondras, a girl I like to call Laura Ingalls because of her grin, is a very poor girl who lives
under a stairwell in an apartment building. I met her while living with our Mongolian family.
She is about 10 and was excited to play with Maggie and Lydia. She had us come and see her place to show me with an extremely sad face that water was leaking from above and had now gathered about two inches deep in her "home." She pointed to it several times. I felt so helpless. We have since met an American family living near her who I hope will help. She
ended the tour by reaching in a burlap sack and pulling out two happy-meal type toys, one for
each of the girls, and then re-padlocking her space. It was very interesting to me the way that
the culture has provided for her. In a place like Mongolia, an orphan left outside to brave the
weather would not survive. I do not think there are "homeless" people here in Darhan like their may be in a place like the Phillipines. Even though her living situation is not nice, to a small
degree, her needs have been met. I hope and pray that God by His grace is working in me to
look, listen and recognize the deepest need of these people, and preparing me, in a culturally
appropriate and Mongolian way to meet the need, alongside Mongolians themselves,when the time is right. I am sure it will be an "as you go" kind of service, and I look forward to it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The girls ride their first Mongolian Camel just outside our apartment.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005


Also in Chicago, the girls went to ‘school’ everyday that we had classes learning how to learn a new language. At the end of the four weeks, the kids put on a show with the song “I just want to be a sheep, Ba Ba BA Ba” as the showstopper.

The other day, Renee and I were having dinner in a restaurant. They hand you a menu, they return in a few minutes to announce that most of what you’ve read, they don’t have. So this day they returned to say they didn’t have any beef. We have already experienced Mutton and not sure we want to try Goat, or Horse meat without a Mongolian friend as a guide. Then the waitress points out that the Gulash is beef, and they have that. So when it comes it tastes pretty good, until Renee asks, “Do you think this is beef?” I did. But I also tasted some of the chunks of meat were smelling and tasting like Mutton. So I guess it had beef, and also Mutton.

So we amended our favorite children’s song from Chicago, "I just want to EAT a Sheep, BA BA BA BAH."

Language Learning

When we were in Chicago in June, we became friends with a family from Puerto Rico, relocating like us, but to a Middle Eastern country. They have two boys, who spoke mostly Spanish. This was a healthy concept for Maggie and Lydia, that there are words even their parents don’t understand.

Our first weeks in language study here, the girls have stayed with Orna, a Mongolian lady who comes to our house. At first it was tough for the girls to understand that she couldn’t tell them to go to bed, (or much else) because she doesn't speak English. This past week, they’ve really warmed up to her and celebrate when she arrives in the morning.

On our way out the door to school, I heard Maggie ask her: "How do you say (I forget what) in Spanish?" Even though they may think they’re learning that language, we hear them counting and saying hello and goodbye in Mongolian, when they think we’re not listening.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Here's a look at our 3 month old, almost. Posted by Picasa

Here's the newest excitement (and parental challenge) in the lives of the girls. As you can see, bunkbeds are quite a ball.  Posted by Picasa

Here is a Northerly veiw out the window of our friend's apartment. You can see the powerline, the round small structure is a Ger (felt tent). The hills are still a faded shade of green as cold air decends with October. Posted by Picasa