Saturday, May 18, 2013

Records preservation, a visit to Narantuya's family and training

Achka (short name) holding up family photo album
May in Mongolia has a little summer, a little winter, stiff breezes and it changes day-to-day. We never know what to expect. We layer up and layer down depending on the day.  
Spring brings out the chess players
We took some pictures of chess players in the park close by Sukhbaatar Square.  There was chess players everywhere, some with several  onlookers taking in the action.
An enjoyable game with onlookers taking in the action

We know one thing, summer traffic has returned with a vengeance. We’ve been caught in a couple a traffic jams where cars didn’t move for ten to 15 minutes and the only way out is to turn around (almost impossible) and go the opposite direction.
Whites on the attack

Even our extra skilled driver Baatar was exasperated when our lane was blocked by cars coming the opposite direction hoping to gain a few car lengths. Baatar drives us to our English classes and on a once a month shopping trip (this was the week we went).
No matter how long you’ve been in Mongolia, each day is an adventure on the streets of Ulaanbaatar. Baatar is an aggressive driver (a matter of inches) who pulls some fantastic maneuvers but on occasion he is stymied by poor drivers and traffic that is "myy" (bad).  

The National Archives. We had a breakthrough meeting with the Director of the National Archives this week. We have another meeting scheduled for this Friday where we hope to negotiate an agreement with the National Archives for a records preservation and digitizing project. Danny Chin is coming in from Hong Kong to do the negotiations.

The dark line on the right side bisecting Mongolia is a branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad that connects to Beijing
On the premise of “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” we will describe how this came about in next week’s blog. Needless to say we are thrilled at these new developments.

What exactly are you doing?

Presentations, teaching and training.  We taught our three English classes – a positive experience - but a lot of preparation work is required to make that happen.  I taught the Service Center staff (about 25 in attendance) a 2 hour class on communication skills.
Family History Consultant training

We finished our last marriage class on Saturday night.  This fall we will shift to making a series of videotapes in Mongolian on principles for a successful marriage. That and having my book translated into Mongolian should leave permanent tools for helping members with marital issues.
Darlene and Selenge, our translator

We had our monthly meeting for Family History Consultants in Ulaanbaatar on Saturday. Darlene taught piano beforehand and afterward trained for four hours with the Family History Director from Erdenet who came down UB for the meeting.
Grandmother starting to tear up looking at the photo album

A visit to Narantuya’s family. The three photo albums put together by our daughter, Tassa, and granddaughter, Maren, didn’t arrive before our daughters’ trip to Mongolia.

Achka and grandmother with books
These albums had all the family photographs of Narantuya and her family. She passed away in February and the thing they wanted most was to preserve their pictures in a book.
Achka with his aunt, Narantuya's sister

I made a face at Achka and he made one back

We went with two missionaries, Sisters Javsanpagama and Matthews, on a super-crowded bus where we had to stand and be jerked around for hour before we arrived at our destination. Maybe the $8.00 taxi ride would have been better after all.

         Darlene comforting Narantuya's mother. 
Sisters Mathews and Javsanpagma, Enkhjin and Darlene
Enkhjin was still at school when we made the visit but we did see her at her bus stop when she got off the bus.

Delightful girls at the bus stop
Some schoolgirls in uniform were having fun talking to us in English.
A regular chore for all families living in the Ger District
They agreed to pose for us as did some boys hauling water for their family. 
It was satisfying to finish up visiting the family and seeing how they are doing. I think we (our daughters, Maren,  ourselves) and all those contributed to this project can know we eased their pain and created some good memories in the midst of their sorrow.

Enkhjin is happier and more friendly than when we first met her
Helping this family and the other charitable work our daughters did while in Mongolia was one of the highlights of their trip.

Camel carpet from the State Department Store

1 comment:

  1. It's nice that they've got these 'digital archiving initiatives' going on, and that more and more people get to toy with it. There's loads of purposes it can serve, including the humanitarian kind - such as anthropology. We ought to truly explore the possibilities inherent in digital filing and storage, and act upon them accordingly.