|Want to fight? You have to go through these guys!|
These Mongolian connections with our family are uncanny and more than coincidental.
There are at least ten or more places worth visiting in Ulaanbaatar so that should keep us busy when we get in the sight-seeing mood. I will be interspersing some sights from our recent trips to make the blog more interesting.
|College student home for the summer milking a yak|
|The other side looks pretty good but not this side|
|Most drivers are about this friendly|
Crosswalks don't mean a thing. However, we and most drivers and pedestrians honor red lights. We look in all directions on a green light. So another skill we are learning is how to walk across a busy street one lane at a time while the cars next to us are whizzing by.
If one lane stops or is almost stopped, you make eye contact with the driver or motion that you want to walk in front of his or her vehicle. Then you navigate the next lane the same way to the middle. Or when one side of the road doesn’t have any traffic, you go directly to the middle of the road.
|Taking the road less travelled - Steve McQueen style with a vintage World War II German motorcycle|
The trick is to get to the center of the road and wait for a break in the oncoming traffic in order to get across the rest of the street. If you wait until both sides are clear, it will be a long wait. It is a piece of cake when traffic on both sides of the road has come to a standstill. If there is any opportunity for a car to gather speed, then cars rule. Don’t even think about it!
|Going by horse is the Mongolian alternative to fast and furious|
Darlene swears that one car saw us and deliberately sped up as we ran across the street . I believe it was to frighten us and he succeeded. Just as the drivers have a keen sense of awareness of playing chicken with each other until the right of way is ceded, drivers and pedestrians have worked out their own code for coexistence.
|Milking a mare - the colt nurses a little to trick the mare into cooperating|
We met with several key people during the week, analyzed past correspondence and made key recommendations to the Mission President on how to move the work forward. We will meet with him tomorrow to get his reaction.
|A nomad pausing for a cigarette break|
|The beginning of the day|
|And the end of the day|
|Elder Farmer, Pres. Davkharbayar, Bro. Batjargal|
The Branch membership clerk, Odgerel, was my translator for the meeting. We brought him love and greetings from this former mission companion from Turkmenistan. They were in the San Jose California mission together. They were practically the only two foreign missionaries at the time so they really bonded. We met him in the Costco parking lot in Orem when our name tags atteracted his attention. Odgerel was pleased.
It is a friendly branch with a number of Russian speakers that warm up to Darlene immediately. Her callings will probably be in the music area. Today we took a taxi to and from church for the first time. It worked out fine, including a free Mongolian lesson from one of the taxi drivers.
On our way home, we encountered the auto repair zone. There are children in the back seat of the car in the foreground.
|Auto repair shop|
Shopping. We had a several shopping forays, most of which were on our own. Darlene clutches me for dear life as we walk as she is so prone to falling. We discovered the Bayanzurgk Market close to us will meet most of our food needs. We bought a pressure cooker and shopped for meat in their open market.
|Next on the menu is horsemeat|
Darlene is nothing but gutsy and is a world-class shopper in terms of getting value for our money. Mongolia is a challenge and she enjoys a challenge.
|Who belongs here - us or you?|
Not everything works out however. Our hot water has been shut off for at least two weeks for summer maintenance. We bought a super-duper electronic horse trough warmer to heat our bath water. Otherwise we have to heat about 20 hot water pots (similar to a tea kettle) for enough hot water for a normal bath. Very tedious and time consuming!
|Which will it be?|
After two long walking trips to the “Home Depot” section of Ulaanbaatar (small shops selling anything and everything pertinent to home repair), we finally had the perfect wire to splice on the cord to make it long enough to reach the bath. Then the first time we used it, we proceeded to break the circuit after four minutes of using our powerful new water heater. Live and learn.
|They know their way home|
|Terelj as seen from the monastery|