Monday, August 20, 2012

Our last English class

Bonus blog - our English class ends.
Our class ends - sweet students

Seasons in Mongolia. Sunday was rainy. This is the wettest summer on record in Mongolia. It’s been raining two or three times a week for most of the summer. It’s not exactly Seattle but by Mongolian standards it’s been cool and wet summer.  The rivers going through Ulaanbaatar are as big as they have ever been.  The evenings are turning cool.

The Countryside is lush and green. This weather is great for the livestock industry, which besides tourism and mining, is the number one income producer in Mongolia. When tourist season ends, we hope to find a few bargains with cashmere. That is one product that is not cheap in Mongolia.
Gardening near Choibalsan

Summers in the countryside. Our trip to the Young Single Adult Conference will take us to Selenge. We will leave by train at 8:30 pm and ride all night until we get to our destination near Shaaman.  This trip will take us to the farming section of Mongolia near the Russian border. Most of the vegetables and wheat grown in Mongolia come from the Darkhan area.

In the summer, a lot of Mongolians visit their parents and other relatives in the countryside or go to their country homes. Business, government and even the church can be a little disjointed in the summer because so many people take their vacations then.
Cashmere in the making

Parents in Ulaanbaatar often send their children to live with their grandparents during the summer. The kids love it, get involved with herding animals and form tight bonds with their grandparents. The school year starts Sept. 1.  Most English teaching stops during the summer but resumes in full force with the school year.

Trip to a mining town. On Sunday, we will also be visiting the mining town of Erdenet. There is a large copper mine there built by the Russians and Mongolians as a joint venture. The Russians have left since Mongolia once communism fell in 1992. Our daughter Tawny spent the first 6 months of her mission in Erdenent. There are two branches of the church in Erdenet. We will be visiting and speaking in both Branches on Sunday. Then we will have another all night train ride back to Ulaanbaatar on Monday.

Inquiries about the church. On Sunday I had a chance to visit with an Australian man who visited our Branch on Sunday. His interpreter is a member of the church and he must have expressed an interest in attending our services. I sat next to him in Sunday School class and talked to him about the Book of Mormon.

On Saturday a woman spoke to us in English. She had lived in Alameda, California for 10 years. She wanted information on how to find our church on Sunday. We shared her contact information with the Assistants to the President.

Our last class. Monday we taught our last English class to the young teenagers and their parents and relatives who visited the class. We had singing, games, and  reviewed some of their vocabulary and grammar.  Darlene cut up lemons and made lemonade in front of them. She was just like a TV cooking chef/hostess explaining in English every step she was taking. The students learned “cut”, "squezing", “pouring”, "stirring",“sugar”, and other key words and verb tenses in the process. She brought chocolate chips cookies which quickly disappeared into appreciative stomachs during the party we had after class.
Galmaa making her presentation

The students  made presentations about themselves in English and also described in English aspects of Mongolian culture using a powerpoint presentation. About half of the students dressed in traditional clothes. Afterward they introduced their parents, siblings and visitors to us in English. Some of the students and parents brought us gifts.
Cultural presentation by Enkgerel, Ehkjin, and Mohkjin

The students hugged and kissed us and said they would miss us. It was so sweet and touching. We grew attached to our class during the three weeks we taught them. Our sponsor sat through the whole class, took pictures and was also supportive and appreciative. Afterward we visited about the arrangements for our next class with the employees which will begin Thursday, Sept. 7.
Class paying attention - mostly

We spent the rest of the day getting ready for our trip including the talks and presentations we will make at the YSA Conference and in Erdenet. By the time we return, this information will be off the front burner so we thought we would publish it early.

1 comment:

  1. You two did a great job with this class. I'm sure they will miss you. Now you will get to know their parents. That is a great idea to make lemonade with them. All sorts of new vocab comes up. They are cute kids. I love those sweet Mongolian faces!