You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

By Mark

May 15th is a day we have been looking forward to for a while now.  The day when the heat to the pars (radiators) is shut off.  Our heat is centrally generated at the power-plant and then through insulated pipes brought into the town and distributed to all the buildings.  The great thing about it is that it keeps buildings warm.  The downside is that when it is 85 degrees F outside having the heat on doesn’t feel so great. 

  • Wednesday May 13- We played outside flying kites – you can see the pictures in the other post.
  • Thursday May 14- estimated outside high temperature around 85 degrees.  Annika and Toby both got a bit more sun than they should have.
  • Friday May 15- Ahh, the day we waited for, but there was a storm on the horizon: here are some shots of the day the heat went off. 



Taken from language school classroom


Toby trying to catch the last flakes of spring


The heat went off on schedule, the snow melted and today its back up in the 80’s I would estimate. 

Хэрвээ Монголд цаг агаар таалахгуй бол одоохон болон

If you don’t like the weather in Mongolia, wait and it will change

by Mark

Yesterday Annika’s class had a field trip at the children’s park to fly some kits.  Mongolia is perfect kite country, windy, not many (if any) trees. The Mongolian word for kite is “paper bird” or “bird made from paper” is probably more accurate.  Might we add that if anyone is looking for ideas for a care package kites would make a great addition





This afternoon I hear what I thought to be the train going by (from Sibera to China) but it kept getting louder.  It was a large helicopter- first one I have seen here.  It landed in the area next to the post office. Helicopter is translated either “airplane” or “flying cart.” Toby, Eli, Larry and I went to check it out.  We are still not really sure who the person was.  I think some of the kids thought maybe Larry and I were- they started to ask “What is your name?” Pretty soon we were surrounded. 


(our future Secret Service?)



Why, yes I am a famous American. 

by Annika


Today, 5/12/2009, we saw a famous basketball player.  Named, well, maybe Sharrin…..something, not sure.  He was really tall.  And there was a kid next to him and the kid was like an ant.  Oh, he also loves red!  We saw him when we went to the park.  And he had huge feet.  At first I thought it was a guy on stilts!  And around him were reporters, body guards, plain people.  But before we asked we thought it was the tallest man in the world.  (We did not have a camera to take his picture.)

We found out this is the guy they were talking about- probably here for the elections

The Mongolian Shark

Another good article

This is an experiment, we are trying to link some videos from our Picasa web page to our blog, we will see how it works out.  We like showing the videos and hope at some point to get a new camera that will give some clearer video and pictures as well.  If it doesn’t work, well we can try again, email us and we can send you the link. 


Annika, Toby and the Adventures of Smokey

The Further Adventures of Smokey

The Ikea Song or Ikeaus was a wee little man

by Mark

Its fun learning a language (yes, there are certainly frustrations that go with it, too).  At times you come across things that you just have to wonder about. 

One of our favorite examples from our second language books is a sentence that shows the use of “too much/excessively/extremely.”  “John embezzled excessively too much money.” It is questions like these that bring out the deeper issues in life.  

  • If John embezzled too much, how much is the right amount to embezzle?
  • Is there someone who embezzled too little money? How do you know what too little is? I imagine this sentence “Judy embezzled too little money
  • What happened to John?  He is never mentioned again in the book so I think he got whacked- took the cement shoe express. 

I remember reading Highlights magazine.  I think it’s still around.  The stories of Goofus and Gallant.  Goofus did it wrong but Gallant did it right.   Goofus embezzled too much money, Gallant embezzled just the right amount. 


Upper left: Goofus scolds someone who could not bring him enough money to buy bling (silly Goofus, you must embezzle for yourself!)

Upper right: Galant tells children how to embezzle just the right amount

Lower Right: Gallant embezzled enough money so he can give money away to make friends

Lower Left: Goofus embezzled too little and has to steal from his parents

In our new lesson there is a unique word.  The word is Эрхлэх (irxlex) which boasts a definition of “to snuggle, to manage.”   Hmmm, this is going to cause problems for me or uncontrollable fits of laughter in the future. 

Me: “So John, now that embezzling hasn’t worked out for you what what line of work are you in?”

John: “I’m a manager” 

Me (turning red, trying to stifle laughter): “Umm you snuggle way to much”

This is the time when I think, you know, being an anthropological entomologist would be pretty interesting.  How did this word get two seemingly diverse meanings attached to it? (actually we found out today to use the term manage you always use it with another word such as work)

by Mark


This past Saturday Pieter Theron and I went looking for campgrounds to the east of Darhan.  We intended to then drive south along the river and find the town of Sharangol (yellow river).  Of course there are rivers and scouting for fishing opportunities around. 


This area was listed as a canyon. 


Turned out to be a very beautiful area- good possibility for future picnic spots


This journey brought to you by- Toyota.  This was one of the times that we really did need 4×4 capability- roads, what roads?


This is looking back towards the canyon, note the herd of sheep in the foreground


I missed the spring daffodils and dogwoods but there are plenty of fields of wildflowers here, too.


This was the good bridge we crossed- entirely made of wood


The weather takes its toll. (Ok, that’s a bad pun but who can resist)


New foal


Several times I had the deja vous effect- where am I, Wyoming or Mongolia?


Horses in the river- they looked a bit hard up after the winter but the green grass will have them putting on weight soon enough.  All of these sites were within an hour of Darhan.  As we drove back we saw a new railroad that is being prepared to be put in- we think it is for the gold mines in the area.  I also did not get to take pictures of the camels by the salt lake- that will be another time. 

Flat Stanley visits Darhan and sees what there is to see. 

At the Children’s Park.



At the Power Plant, Lenin statue



Overlooking Darhan



Flat Stanley by the school bus



by the Muirin Huur Statue near our apt.



the purple lighted bridge in the background



 Jack’s Wahlen’s birthday party at Fields’ house in Tosgan

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