Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blue Christmas


Christmas arrived early at Lotus in the form of four Blue Father Christmases and one Blue Mother Christmas. The Santas were Mongolian celebrities from the TV and a Mongolian rock star. Awesome for the kids!!!!!

Loads of presents of course.


and a big, chaotic group picture.
So where is your beard then?”

Friday, December 07, 2007

A visit to Lotus

Two of weeks ago we went with a couple of VSO and Australian Youth Ambassadors to Lotus. The children are mad for the camera, never getting bored of having their photographs taken.

Pic by Sophie
Gek and Urgalmal,

Pic by ??
Sophie and Urgamal, again!!!! The girl is everywhere!!!

Pic by Sophie
Steve and a couple of kids in the kinder garden.

Pic by Sophie
The little lad was at my feet wanted to be picked up. I guess he wanted to see how the world looked from higher up!!!

Lotus Upper Primary Art Competition

Organised by Gek, the competition’s theme was the environment

Batzaya, special mention for artistic merit.

Uuganaa, first prize in age group.


And the two artist at work, Batzaya on the left and Uuganaa on the right.

Lotus Lower Primary Art Competition

The theme was the Terelj summer camp





Baasandorg, first prize in age group.



















Urgamal, special mention for artistic merit.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snowed bronzes


The little lad on the Yak: the shiny bits on the Yak boy are from the countless kids who climb a back the yak and grab on to the boy from behind.

And the two lads wrestling on Tourist Street.

One of the Khan’s men


OK, I did a bit of work on them but they is so life like.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sukhbaatar Square Winter


A snow that could last till March. It is amazing how quickly the snow thickens on the ground. It falls so fine and yet carpets the ground in minutes. These pictures were taken from the northwest corner of the square.


Turning clockwise, looking southeast,

south southeast and

due south, looking down Chinggis Avenue towards the Tol river. Notice anything? ………. new buildings going up at all points of the compass. 9 towers cranes in the pictures with more off camera. Each building is taking a minimum of three years to complete because to the winter shut down. The guys and gals in the red safety coats are clearing the whole square of snow. The polished marble surface of the square is an absolute nightmare to walk on after a snow. A real bum bruiser.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Death on the Streets.

A homeless man lay dead outside my office window this morning.
- 20 deg C last night.
A blog to mark his passing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Going Home

Photgrapher unknown from 2005
Standard winter wear. What do they remind you of?
Photgrapher unknown from 2005

And here with Snow White!
Photgrapher unknown from 2005
Trundle, trundle.

Trampoline

Photgraph by Gek
The trampoline is in the lads living quarter compound. A lot of practicing gets done.

Photgraph by Gek
Great fun too.

Kindergarten Class - Lotus

Photgraph by Gek
Cute or what? There are a couple of young ladies in Singapore I know will appreciate this photgraph!!!! I will do my best to keep the images coming.

Lotus Medals

Photgraph by Gek
The Lotus Kids took 30 medals from the Cultural Nadam!!! Yes thirty!

Photgraph by Gek
In all categories. Song, dance

Photgraph by Gek
and guitar. Congratulations to them all.

School Nadam Cultural Competition

Photgraph by Gek
Recently there was a cultural competition for UB school children. A sort of Cultural Nadam!!

Photgraph by Gek
Lotus kids contributed dance, song and musical instrument entries. The Lotus kids really distinguished themselves, performing with energy and totally without inhibition.

Photgraph by Gek
Lotus kids are fearless. Give them a microphone and an audience and off they go. Totally sweet.

Images from summer – Dadal Jockeys


Elegance on a horse. No side saddle for Mongolian women.

Dad and daughter.


I was going through the summer photo files and found some images that didn’t make the blog on the first time round.

Faces, I just love them.

These are from the Dadam Nadam Festival we visited.
The ring master and the tired little lads. 15-20 km of hard, cross country riding that kills the weakest horses. No hard hat and no saddle.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sandra’s Farewell


The children gave Sandra a leaving concert.

Any excuse to dress up and perform!!

Which of course required a farewell speech.

Six hours before her flight and a last chance for us to enjoy a meal together. Sandra is a true volunteer, getting herself here under her own steam. Her time here has given Mongolia much more than she is taking away. A new friend to Gek and me.

Children’s Felting Products


Photgraph by Gek
Sandra and Gek have been showing the children how to make felt products. I know what you are thinking. Coals to Newcastle, right? Well, yes, but why not an Aussie? They do know a lot about sheep. Rugby? Well not sure anymore after the world cup result!!!! With the Singaporean, you might have a point!!!!

Photgraph by Gek
Well, these are the kids efforts and I for one am impressed.

Photgraph by Gek
The idea is for the kids to make these felt products during extra curricula activities in the new Arts and Crafts Centre with a view to selling them to visitors. A cracking idea. I defy anyone to visit the centre and not walk out with one to these original pieces of art work………… and minus more than a few dollars!!!!!
Photgraph by Gek
But they do need a source of non breakable dry felting needles. Can anyone help?

Compare and Contrast

In spite of the danger of repeating myself............................


Sussex. Green, lust grass, damp, misty (- 5 to +30 deg C)

Terelj. Brown, rocky, semi-desert. clear (-40 to +35 deg C)

I didn’t really think about most of Mongolia being semi desert before we came. The Gobi, yes, but the rest, no. Bizarrely, if trees are growing away from a river, they are invariably on the north facing slopes of the hills. Looks all wrong!!! And as I think I have mentioned before, all the rivers are running north towards Russia doesn't feel right either.