Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mongolian Independence Day "Naadam"

The word means Games or Olympics...and the three main ones are wrestling, horse racing and archery.  Today we got to see two of the three and Maggie added a little face-painting to the festivities...We even got to eat some "sharlock" for lunch - which is shish-kabob.

We gave the roasted fat pieces to the Mongolians who were eating at our table.  They heartily appreciated it and ate it all up.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LIFE 2016 - Momentum

Maggie and Renee went to Kansas City, MO with 5,000 other people from the Alliance to attend the National Youth conference that happens every three years. Here are a couple pictures of this formative time they shared with other youth from the Mongolia Field.

These are the ones who ran in the 5K on the last day to raise money for a good cause.  Most made it the distance without stopping or walking.  Next LIFE is in 2019.  Maggie will be eligible and so will Lydia and Johanna, as unbelievable as that seems.

Friday, July 15, 2016

CR Family Picnic

Dog Days of Naadam and ASEM

Because of the National Independence Holidays and an Asian European conference in Ulanbaatar, the whole country closed down for the whole week.  Stores were still open, but banks and businesses were not.  Everyone is expected to stay home and watch wrestling (bare chested Mongolian guys) and horse racing (child jockeys) on TV.

The time off was enjoyable, but finally a little boring.  It started to feel like a 'stay-cation', which is all the relaxation, without all the rejuvenation of a new place, travel, and activity to keep the mind (and body) engaged.  I just talked to the neighbor guy outside who volunteered that he was getting bored.  Add two more days for Darhan's local Naadam (Olympics) celebration and you get yourself about 10 days off.  You know it's a bit much when Mongolians themselves start to confess their boredom from time off work!

Add to that, when the weather is hot, almost no one goes outside, so there can be a really eerie feeling that everyone's left town.  Finally when things cool off in the evening though, the neighborhood livens up.  Apartment life can be a sedentary one.  But Mongolians famously can't take the heat, so I guess they have their ways of coping.

Repainting CAMA Center

The workers spent the last week before Independence Holiday preparing to paint the whole interior.  The painting work is underway and the fumes will remain indefinitely.

Johanna's 11th Birthday

We went to the Children's Park in UB to ride the rides.

Big day ends with opening presents.

Summertime Fun

So far this summer's had some really hot days...so we do what we can to cope...

This park and fountain commemorates the 50th anniversary of Darhan's founding. We think it was a really good idea.