Sunday, February 22, 2009

Milestone Day

This month two significant events occurred on the same day.

Clara took off walking with wild abandon.  She had been a reluctant toddler before getting on her shoes and tearing around everywhere.  Joining the bipeds opened her up to another venue for play.  She joined the ranks of the outside players and especially liked going back and forth over the melting snow on a sunny day.

That evening Maggie crossed into untrod territory as well.  She sat me down to hear her read a paragraph of Mongolian language, and didn't miss a word!  She's spoken Mongolian since she was three.  But now at age six she can read and write two languages.  And as always, her pronunciation is better than ours, so it gives her reading a certain flair that mine lacks.  It's a funny thing to admire your child, but I like it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walking the Dog

Took a walk to the top of a nearby hill this weekend.  Brought our dog with me.  On the way up, I was impressed with how he seems to be growing up, acting less like a puppy.

Now up on the tops of most hills here are little cairns of rock piled up over the years or centuries. Many are believed to have bones of saints or something spiritual underneath it all the stones that have stacked up over time.  Part of people's routine when they go up to visit an ovoo is to place another rock on them.  

On top of the hill overlooking our house there is a special ovoo, that actually has a foundation about 3 feet high and some staves to hang scarfs and colorful objects or offerings.

Rocks have piled up so that when people place offerings now it's about 4 feet high.  So when people were putting cookies and other edible stuff on the ovoo in offering to the spirits, how do you suppose my dog decided to join in the ceremony?  Of course he started standing up on his hind legs and eating the cookies.  So what does a good missionary man do in that case?