Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Firewood season

Here I am, "supervising" the weekly firewood sawing, chopping and stacking (it's harder than it looks). Personally I prefer a Skilsaw. And yes, we will still be burning firewood (and coal) for at least another month, maybe two. Temperatures still average below freezing and it snowed almost every day last week. A beautiful white Easter! But I can't wait to get out of these long-johns!! By the way, this is Munko - my next-door neighbor - and Baljay, who will be graduating from high school next month. He lives with his parents and at least 2 brothers in a small ger. Neat kid!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My friend Dawaa

This is Dawaa, my partner and good friend. He works with me to research and implement community projects. This last weekend he (and his very pregnant wife!) taught a family seminar in a local church. He's a young guy (23?) but he is a great speaker and has a huge heart for God. They live in a small ger (yurt) and Dawaa loves to wrestle. He is really hoping for a son, and Bayanaa is just hoping it will be soon (she's the one whispering in the back)!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dreamin' of a white Easter

A recent viewer asked some good questions about industries in our area. Hmm. The biggest issue for Mongolians now is unemployment (about 35%). Half of the industries in our city have closed since the Russians left 15 years ago. There are still a few running, though - metal, cement, flour, clothing. A lot of people sell a few things at the market or are involved in transportation - pushcarts, horsecarts, cars, vans, and trucks. There are quite a few families out in our community who have a couple cows, goats, chickens, or even pigs. And most of them will also plant a small garden. Most people are also very handy - making things like felt, leather, rope, knitting or making clothes. Unfortunately it is very difficult to find a market for most of these hand-made things and get a good price (because we are competing with cheaper manufactured products from China). It's tough, but also exciting to see the church passionate about helping people find work as they seek to establish His Kingdom in our community.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Growing like weeds...

I had a birthday this week, I'm SIX! I'm getting REALLY big and I got lots of Power Ranger gear to show off my muscles. I'm also getting pretty smart - I can read the clock, recite all the months, and I even know most all of my letters (in English). My dad thinks I'm pretty funny, too, with my photo poses and the things I repeat from movies. For some reason he thought it was pretty funny when I told him that the warm juice I had made me "crazy in the head." Oh, and I also got the cutest puppy in the world for my birthday. His name is Moses and he is going to grow up to be a big guard dog. He's already ferocious with my slippers...