Sunday, March 25, 2012

Doris Layton, my friend and Columbia College colleague came to visit me in UB for a week. We put her right to work! She shared her expertise in Divergent Learning with our faculty, with pedagogy classes, and helped out with English 4 classes, too.

Of course, we also had time for visiting museums, monasteries and silk shops!

We took a weekend trip to the countryside where we circled the ovoo three times, petted the reindeer, and Doris had her first camel ride....all was well until he unexpectedly went down! A bit of a surprise, as you can tell.

We visited a nomad family and happened upon a four-day-old calf - it is spring! We also visited the Chinggis Khaan monument and the Meditation Center. While I had been there before, this time we were able to go inside. An amazing and informative place. And, as it is quite a ways up the mountain, magnificent views all around.

We stayed at the Guru Ger Camp, and just before dinner, were able to don the King and Queen regalia! We packed a lot into a week - work, lots of fun and a good bit of new information!
Once again, I am stymied by the difference in how I compose the post, and how it actually publishes! But again, I know you'll be able to match up the pictures with the narrative.
An invitation: Would you like to visit? I am most happy to introduce anyone who is interested to the beauty and wonderment of Mongolia.....just let me know.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hurrah!!!! I have my HG visa - and my working document - and my new alien registration card. All is well.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I celebrated another birthday in Mongolia! Despite all my efforts to not mention or otherwise tip off my friends that my birthday was coming, they remembered and organized a wonderful birthday dinner at the Mongolian Barbeque.

On Tuesday, Magcar, Amaraa and I went to a mining city about 2 1/2 hours east of UB to conduct an inservice for primary school teachers. You can see how nice the school is, and what a view they have from the playground! I began the workshop with an introduction to constructivism and a group activity, Amaraa followed with a lecture on the theoretical basis for problem solving in math, and Magcar finished up with words of wisdom and the awarding of certificates. Afterwards, we were treated to dinner and we capped our day with a visit to the statue of Natsagdorj, a very famous Mongolian writer who lived a short, but very productive life. Another great Mongolian adventure.
I apologize for the placement of this part of the post, but I don't seem to be able to move it! And, I know you can determine the difference between the birthday party and the workshop.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Women's Day! March 8 is a national holiday. You have to love a country that celebrates women, children and teachers - all national holidays. The men in our department had a small party and gave each of us a rose and a phone card. The director of our school, Enkhtsetseg, gave me the large bouquet and box of candy. Colleagues gave greetings, candy and cards. One of my classes gave me the picture with Noble in Mongolian script and a bouquet of lollipops. No school tomorrow - more visiting and celebrating. So, Happy International Women's Day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Long story, short. I do not have the correct visa in order to be paid by the University, so the plan was for me to leave Mongolia for three days and return with the appropriate paperwork. My good friend and colleague, Amaraa, agreed to accompany me to Inner Mongolia, Erlian, to be exact.
We took a train (15 hours there and 16 hours back). Here is Amaraa making up her berth in our six - eight person open car.

It snowed the whole time - beautiful and white, also very slippery! The large square sported the monument of the dinosaur! Not sure why, but it was different enough to catch the eye.

We stayed at the Ken Te Hotel. Nice enough, but bad phone connections. So, we found ourselves a corner office a few blocks away!

I, of course, took along knitting. Amaraa brought her Mongolian embroidery, which is quite stunning. She also does Khazak embroidery which is beautiful, but not as exacting as this.

We saw several women knitting in the malls. They use very long double point needles (you use four at a time) which looked quite dangerous! This women didn't want her face in the picture, but was pleased we admired her work.

We ventured into a Chinese Hot Pot restaurant, and although neither of us quite knew the protocol, we managed to have fun and a good meal.

Lots of shopping - very good deals and the exchange rate was amazing. We shopped in the markets, the centers, the supermarket and the food market. We shopped a lot while waiting for a number to take to the consulate in order to get my new visa.

Alas, we were not successful in securing a new visa. So, we experienced sunset on the Gobi as we departed, and there will be a chapter 2 to this story.

An adventure we may not have needed in order to get a visa, but one that was fun and not unproductive. I learned some Mongolian, bought a bottz steamer (and a few other things) and Amaraa and I mapped out her doctoral research!