Thursday, January 24, 2008

Facts about Bulgan

Some people have asked about more details about the town where we live. Bulgan has a population of 13,000 people, in a province of the same name having perhaps 65,000 people, and a million and a half head of livestock, but who's counting?

Our province is famous in Mongolia for having the best tasting horse milk. Mare's milk is a fermented low alcohol delecacy drank in huge quantities, especially at ceremonies and holidays.

Our town has a hospital, fire, police department, and an old soviet style flour factory which looks like a huge grain elevator. To my knowledge the factory is really not working.

Our town has paved roads layed out like two paralell rectangles I guess. One of the rectangles circumnavigates the town park. Towns that are well layed out are as rare as parks in Mongolia. Trees in parks are also quite rare. We are thrilled to have all three of these. Though the trees are beautiful and green in summer, they are a kind of Tamarac conifer that drops its needles in winter, and are hence known as Black Tree in Mongolian.

We have a small main market, two meat markets, with vegetables for sale all year round, mostly potatoes and the kind that don't spoil quickly. You never see lettuce, but can always find carrots. Most food is cheap here. We buy beef for about 1.25$/pound most times. But it's a little different in that the butcher's main tool is a blood stained ax and chopping block. Big hunks of frozen beef carcas are what you often see for sale in winter. Vegetables are also cheap. I think people shop here like they might have 50 years ago in America, buying a little from this shop, and little from that shop. Our super-market here is a far cry from the ones in America.

Winter's Coldest Days Haven't Froze Us Yet

Our thermometer is showing 25 degrees below 0 every morning. But when we get out in the car, it says it's -30 degrees. At night, the weather service says it's reaching -32 or -33 Celsius, which is only -27 or so Farenheit. Bulgan is historically warmer than other parts of Mongolia, which are reaching -40 this winter.

The good news is the days are getting longer, so the sun is helping to warm us more and more each day. Thank God for our in-floor heating system, we stay warm in bed all night. And wake to a house that isn't sub-zero. Putting your feet on the floor when getting up is a pleasure. Thanks to those who generously gave to make this possible. We are grateful!

Recent Family Portrait

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christmas Banquet at Erdenet Church

A couple days before Christmas, we were treated to a post church luncheon to celebrate Christmas with church family in Erdenet.
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