Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mongolian Hot pot - Horhog

Horhog is a traditional way of cooking meat.

First light a fire and heat up some river stones. Be careful not to pick stones likely to explode!!

Cram the meat, typically a dismembered sheep, bones and all, potatoes, carrots and cabbage along with your heated stones into a special type of pressure cooker. Add a bit of water.

Place the cooker in the embers of the fire and hope that the pressure relief valve work!.

Then sit around the fire chatting for at least one hour while the cooking is done. Once cooked, deliver the meat to the table together with the hot stones. Your guests will want to turn the stones between their fingers to benefit from the stones newly acquired health giving properties. A very important part of the Horhog this.

Project Picnic

Beautiful spot by the Tol river,

with the Terelj mountains as a back drop. Lovely

Lay out loads of food.

including some made on the spot with Ariunaa rolling dough and

flame cooked by Sunimal, chief chef!!! Result…… Naan bread.

Then time to relax and enjoy.

Maija and Zoe are leaving Mongolia

Zoe, on the right and Maija complete their one year in Mongolia. Time to say their good byes

This has been Maija’s home for 12 months. All through the –20 something deg C winter too!!! Respect.

The veggie garden in the hasha is at it’s best in August, just before the harvest

And with some impressive sunflowers.

A horhog to say bon voyage, my own personal best wishes to you both.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New VSO arrive in UB

Twelve new VSO landed in UB over the 18/19th August weekend. Exactly one year after Gek and I arrived. A bit sleepy and jet lagged but happy to be finally in country. Welcome to you guys, welcome to Mongolia.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Visitors to Lotus

The summer has seen a stream of visitors to the Lotus Children’s Centre and the camp. Prominent amongst them has to been Frazer, an English corporate lawyer from London. He has been in the camp for over 2 months……but let him tell it his way. His travel log at
is a brilliant word picture of his experience here in Mongolia. A must read.

Then there has been the crazy pair, Mark and Andy , who arrived in a 19 year old Ford Fiesta which they had driven all the way from the UK. 32 days. That is some going. And they are driving back!!!! They raised over $10,000 with their effort. Checkout their web at
Pictured here with the Centre director Didi and one of her charges. Note the collapsing shoe on the little lad. This is why money is needed. With over 200 people to feed every day, all year, $10,000 represents 2 months’ grocery bill.

Then there were the Singaporean solders. They were in UB for only a couple of day before setting off across the Gobi on push bikes!!!! These guys are full time army and are under orders. Had to be!!!!! But they spent 10 hours at Gek’s newly refurbished building, digging a drainage ditch and clearing the ground outside. Thanks lads.

The latest Singaporeans to arrive are Lai Hock’s Venture Asia group (mid August). Pictured in our apartment before setting off to the camp, these young women are here to help look after the kids for the 10 days at the camp. All sorts of professions represented. Nurse, IT specialist, student, all unknown to each other before this trip.
The group have bought a new ger, seen here being erected, which they will donate to Lotus when they leave. Kids, never camera shy!!!!!

Well, I salute them all and the many others who’s contributions in time, money and materials make the Centre’s work possible.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

TBus 4-002

New TBus on the road. ‘Made in Mongolia’ proudly displayed, in English, across the front of 4-002. Checkout for more details.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

First Job.

A building site, much the same the world over. But this more dangerous. No safety rails and very few hard hats. This is probable the most dangerous phase in the construction. Health and safety as a ways to go here.

But we choose to start with bricklaying and concreting because these are the jobs most affected by the season nature of the construction industry. It is against the law to build in winter. Here pictured is …….., one of Grand Perfect’s first graduate trainees in concreting

Together with his colleague,…….., …….earns 200,000 tug (approx.$180) for a month of 12 hour days. No rest day. This was their first task on the site and they have done so well that the company, Jiguur Grand has taken them on to the payroll proper.
Other graduating trainees from GP like …..picture here with her trainer…. are on one month’s probation on other companies construction sites around UB. It is not an easy job. We start new courses in tiling, plastering, domestic electrical installation and plumbing at the beginning of September.