Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful Lake Hovsgol ! !

Last week Kathy and I went to visit our friend Tom in Lake Hovsgol. Beautiful place! We went with our friends Munguu and Nergui. Tom lives in Hatgal, a small town at the south end of Lake Hovsgol, the largest lake in Mongolia. Kathy and I set our hearts to see some of Mongolia this summer, and we feel happy about what we saw, first in the Gobi desert, and then last week at Lake Hovsgol. There are too many photos to post, so I will post some more later. 

Every place outside of Ulaanbaatar is hard to get to. If you take a bus or car, be ready for a grueling bumpy ride! A bus to Murun, which is three hours south of Hatgal, is 21 hours. Kathy and I opted to fly, which was a good choice and not too expensive. We met Munguu and her mother Nergui there in Murun. From there Munguu's relative drove us to Hatgal, a bumpy but scenic drive of 3 hours. 

In Hatgal we stayed with Tom in his cabin. Great! We had time to hike, take a boat ride on the lake, ride some horses, and spend time with other friends up there and the little church they are part of. We came back to our home well rested and content with the time we had there!

Tom talking with Kathy ...

Kathy in front of the old Russian factory that is being renovated

The entrance to the property Tom lives on

Tom's home :)

Some of the people in the church we visited...

The building the church is using at this time for their gatherings

The Sukhbaatar, the boat the operates on the lake

Munguu and me :)

Tom, Nergui, Munguu, Kathy and me on the lake

Hatgal from a hill we cliimbed

A view of Hatgal from the church building our friends are constructing

Hatgal from across the mouth of the Lake Hovsgol

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Mini Naadam and Time with Friends

Last week our friends Tseko and Namja and their mom took us to a small town west of Ulaanbaatar to see the Naadam festival there. Typically Naadam is celebrated from July 11th to 13th each summer, but towns outside of Ulaanbaatar celebrate at different dates. It was a really nice time for us, though a bit rainy. There was a small-town feel to it and we were able to get closer to the events going on. There was some wrestling in the mini stadium and several long-distance horse races.

The horse races are typically 3 hours long. The horses are incredibly exhausted by the end of the race since the riders seem to have little compassion for them and ride fast the whole time. Mongolian horses are smaller than North American horses, but have incredible stamina. That is one reason the Mongol armies during the days of Genghis Khan and others were so effective. In these Naadam horse races, the riders are typically children. They sure know how to ride!!

Later that day we all went to a nice place in the countryside for lunch. Really nice!

I also have photos of time with friends during the last few weeks.

You can see a horse racer in the distance on the right of the photo

This young girl is about to cross the finish line... she won the race

... the mini stadium in the town ...

... me with Kathy, Tseko and Namja ...

... one of the venerated officials ...

... a typical wrestling match ...

our friend Tseko :)

Kathy with Namja and Tseko where we stopped for lunch

Our dear friend Cici got her student visa to go to the U.S. She is going to study at Christ For The Nations Bible school, and is very excited about it. Her family got together for a farewell dinner that we were invited to. Thanks Cici and family!!

Cici with Kathy and me

We always have friends over to our home :) There wouldn't be room on my blog is I showed photos of everyone!! But here are some ....

Me with "the Gangstas"... :)

Zaya, May and Nara ...

Kathy with Bogii and Oogii :)