Monday, September 26, 2011

LEI outing to Gachuurt !!

On Friday the Language Education Institute teachers, staff and students went on a day trip to a place along the river Tuul outside of Ulaanbaatar called Gachuurt. We had a GREAT time there. The purpose was to give the students and staff opportunity to know each other better. Learning a language is not easy, and having good relationships among students has great advantages. Also, the staff of LEI cares about the students and wants to make their year at LEI meaningful.

You can see from the photos that I was happy to be involved. My view on things is that involvement with the teachers and students is an essential part of being a director in a university or other educational institution. And I love being among them, as I have often said. People is what this world is all about. Getting involved with people and helping people is the way to go!

You can see that fall is upon us. I have included some photos of the students, the camp we stayed at for the day, and some of the surrounding area to give you a feel for where we were. My desire is always to give you a real picture of life here in Mongolia. Enjoy the photos!!

The LEI students and staff before we headed home!

A worker's "pack horse" :)

We rented a full size 45-seat bus and a smaller 20-seat van

The teachers had lots of fun activities for the students!

Some of the teachers and staff

Lunch time!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Good and the Bad of Ulaanbaatar...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.... 
                                                      ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

So begins Dickens' epic "Tale of Two Cities." Life is so often a series of contrasts. Another week spent with friends, our Saturday evening Bible study, and an uneventful bus ride until three drunks disrupted things!

Time we spend with friends is always nice. Mongolians can be so caring and kind and respectful. It is really something how we meet people from all walks of life and in all kinds of places. I find that as I live in the moment and pay attention to what is going on around me, I see how friendships can begin so naturally and continue on. And in our Bible study, people of different ages and backgrounds and cultures attend. Wonderful!

Ricardo and Serena and their two darling daughters had a big one year birthday party for their youngest daughter, a tradition in the Korean culture. Many of the staff at MIU attended the party in the Book Cafe at MIU. What a great family!!

But of course there is the other side of things that we speak about from time to time. The people that walk along the street or at the bus stops can often be rude. Kathy and I ride the bus to and from work and many times besides. There is often the pushing and shoving that comes our way. Yesterday three drunks - two guys and a girl - got on the bus, and seemed to be agitated by everything. For some reason there was a big scuffle at one point, and punches were thrown. The bus driver stopped the bus and got involved. So did a policeman who was a passenger on the bus. Eventually the three got their money back, but didn't leave without a fight. One of the guys was pushed out as the bus was moving, rolling on the pavement several times. Kathy and I didn't mind seeing them leave! Such is the other side of things... :)

And of course there is ultimately hope for every man and woman. I am convinced the all can find a new life full of purpose, love, faith and hope.... by finding Jesus Christ!

Kathy has a tendency to want to overpower me sometimes.. haha

Serena, Ricardo and their darling daughters...

Eric addressing the people who came to the party...

A view of the amusement park in Ulaanbaatar...

Haliuna and me

Munguu showing Altjin and Holan her photo

Holan, Munguu, Altjin, Kimberly, Anu and Nasim

Nergui, me, Holan, Munguu, Altjin, and Kimberly

Our friend Uyanga with Kathy

Uyanga and me

An evening view looking east from our window...

An evening view looking west from our window


Our friend Tanya

Kathy with Tanya

Kathy cooked a great meal of spaghetti for Tanya and me as we talked about Mongolia, Russia, and other things

Kathy - queen of the kitchen!!

Some kids at a wedding at the Ghingis Khan hotel we stopped by to visit

Nasim and me :)

The fight begins on the bus!!!

The policeman and the bus driver push the drunk out

The drunk wouldn't leave without a fight