Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I work at the Mongolian State University of Education. The University has 13 Schools and 1 Affiliate. Schools are free standing buildings and are spread out all around UB. This is my school, the Teacher's School. We have three departments - Maths and Science Studies, Human and Social Studies, and my department, Education Studies and Methodology. The Dean of our School is Enkhtseseg, and the Director of my department is Byemba. I already have several assignments - lecturing, visiting schools, working with faculty on their methodology and writing.

This is our office. In the back is Byemba, our Director. My desk is right next to hers. Oyunaa and Odgerel will complete our group. A student is diligently filling out forms in the foreground.

Today was the first day of classes, and this is a seminar class (I'm on the left, saying Kimchi). Lecture courses include about 90 students, and seminars about 30. Half the students have not returned to campus since next week is the Lunar New Year, and they are staying home until the celebrations are complete! These students had lots of questions about American Education.
How do I get there? I walk, about a mile, on mostly icy, definitely uneven sidewalks complete with the occasional missing or wobbly manhole cover - apparently more than person has fallen in! The most fun, though is crossing the streets. The painted pedestrian crosswalks have no meaning at all, and even the flashing green go sign is open for interpretation! I just find someone else crossing and walk next to him/her - on the other side of the line of cars.....
Have I mentioned that it's cold?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chinggis Khan...

Chinggis Khan – that is the way it is written and pronounced…Chinggis.  While most of us know him as warrior, his main intention was to unite the tribes of Mongolia, and then the world, in order to eliminate the need for war.  If everyone lived under his rules, they were quite simple, there would be no rancor.  Mongolia has managed to do this for many years.

Interestingly, the people of Mongolia know little about Chinggis as they were kept from their history  until 1990 when communism fell and they became a democracy.  However, they are quite proud of him and the fact that, once, they ruled the world.

Mongolian BBQ began with Chinggis.  They would use their shields as pans in the fire, and their swords as cooking utensils.  Mongolian BBQ restaurants emulate this today.  And, it’s very good.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quick update......I do have my visa. I just now got confirmation on my apartment. I am packed. All systems go. Next post will be from Mongolia.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Less than two weeks. I do wish I could wiggle my nose and be there. The trip is long and includes quite a layover in China - I have to collect my luggage and check back in - starting to worry about that a bit. I don't have an apartment yet, but when I have one confirmed, I'll be happy to share that information. Oh, and my visa hasn't been returned yet....I'll be trying another call to the Embassy tomorrow. So, all that, plus not being quite sure what I will be doing when I get there.....good thing I don't stress easily. Still, I'm looking forward to Jan 18 and being in my apartment in Ulaan Bataar and scouting out my route to the University. Stay tuned.