Sunday, January 6, 2013

A tough week

A wonderful surprise!

I was down and out with a persistent flu and temperature all week. I did go out once to the bank to accompany Darlene as went to pay our rent for January. Each day toward the end of the week was a little better than the last but each day had its disappointments as well. I will intersperse a few photos from brighter days in Mongolia to brighten the rather mundane winter week we had.
The many hues of Mongolia - right now they are mostly gray and white.
It hasn’t been mundane for Darlene, however. She was heroic in carrying on without me in lesson preparations, going and teaching our English class on Wednesday and Thursday nights. She had excellent  classes but came home worn out. She went shopping be herself at the local market during the week. Her eyes were bigger than her muscles as she had to pack everything home (3 blocks) by herself.  

Sister Groesbeck had a previous visit to Choilbalsan
She also kept up with Family History training during the week. She spent some meaningful training time on Family Tree with the Groesbecks. She worked on power point presentations for the English class and was proud she stayed with it and came up with something she likes.

The Groesbecks were transferring mission locations from Murun to Choibalsan where they will spend the next six months. They spent a few days in UB prior to their departure for Choibalsan. 

Ulaanbaatar is the little circle in middle of Tob (Төв) province. 

The Groesbecks were in Murun, the northern fin of Mongolia in Hovskul (Хөвсгөл) province for 6 months. They will be in Choibalsan for 6 months.  Choibalsan, Dornod (Дорнод) province is by the open mouth of Mongolia on the Chinese border on the upper right (north east) of Mongolia. They hope to spend the last six months of their mission in Xovd ( Ховд) on the far western side of Mongolia. (This is a picture of the map that hangs in our hall.)

Their sponsor is a travel company owned up by a church member so they are able to move from city to city during their mission.  For the next six months, Choibalsan  will have them as wonderful backup for the new Family History Center. We travel there in two weeks for training purposes.

Linking the generations in Mongolia
Darlene works worked closely with Orkhon. Orkhon and Battsey.  They are two young returned sister missionaries that served in the US.  The now serve in the UB Family History library as Assistant Directors and also serve as translators working on Family History projects.  This is their calling and not a paid position.   Orkhan is working on translating one part of Family Tree training materials into Mongolian so we can train consultants this coming Saturday. Together, Orkhan and Darlene trained a new Family History Consultant on Saturday afternoon. 

Family Tree is replacing search.  It will be easier to work with in the long run but Mongolian is not one of the 10 core languages that it has been translated into.  That means a lot of extra work for the Mongolians

In the meantime, I used my time when I had my wits and energy about me to study Mongolian. I’ve been at it for a couple of weeks pretty strong. We’ll see if I’ve made a dent.

Saturday night I felt well enough to go out to eat. I put on a regular shirt instead of a white one thinking this would be a quiet night out. When we arrived at the restaurant (Namaaste – Indian food), we were greeted by Batbold and his group who were celebrating his 28th birthday. They were waiting for more people to show. They invited us to their table and I sat on the far end to keep my distance so as to not spread whatever I was recovering from. 

Then the Richardsons (senior couple) showed up! They were looking for an evening out and had debated checking with us before deciding to go. They came to our table also. We ended up with 14 people, mostly young single adults, a birthday cake and a loud, fun party. Dinner and dessert lasted for 3 hours. The rest of the restaurant was busy also. Our restaurant selection was further validated when the American ambassador and her husband sat one table away.  Our quiet evening out became a gathering.   It was anything but a quiet night out.

Our church this year begins at 2:00 pm. Darlene went by herself for the second week in a row. She came home exhausted and went right to bed with a fever. I will give you updates if it is temporary or if she and I will be trading places this week.  

Good news during the week. One nice pick-me-up came mid-week when we received a giant Christmas banner from our ward back in Wildwood (see picture above) and a family calendar.   

We needed  a 2013 calendar.  Now we have a new calendar and  a new set of family pictures to look at for a year. What a nice present!

Included with the calendar were our new ATM cards and credit card we had been waiting for.
 Mongolia is a mainly cash society.  Some of the bigger stores and restaurants use credit cards but we don't use them at all here.

 We had stockpiled enough cash to get us by but it was a relief when the cards finally showed up.  The first mailing of our ATM card were stolen and used by someone in New York.  An unexpected happening.

We used our new credit card to establish a Magic Jack account so we can call family search support in the United States.  Darlene looked into Google phone but couldn’t make it work.

Next week should have a little more variety to it than this one – especially for me. 


The reindeer people in Khovsgul (Хөвсгөл) province

There really are reindeer in Mongolia!

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