Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kindergarten 1st Quarter

Our school has completed the first quarter and wow was it fast. We have gotten a good start on the year, letters and numbers. Uncle Nghia came into take school pictures and got a great one of our class. Note in the boys' hands are their names. We have worked hard to get the kinders writing their names well and for open house we made signs with our names. Everyones' progress is steady and good; it has been a good but challenging first quarter.

I am so pleased the way God continues to prepare me for homeschool my three next year once we have moved. Starting with kinders and 1st grade is a great way to feel out teaching and get familular with the curriculum since next year I will have Zeke in 5th grade, Saiah in 2nd and Edie in kinder!

and Mountain Tops

By the fourth day of paragliding we were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately it got REALLY windy so we couldn't fly... couldn't even do much ground training! We tried for awhile, but between the rocky ground and getting pulled backwards (yes, I did a few backward somersaults) we soon called it quits. Thankfully we were able to borrow a couple wings to practice our kiting up in Darhan. Hopefully in November we will have a chance to go back and tackle a small mountain or two!

It's getting cold (0F last night), but frozen ground means no upward thermals and smooth sailing for beginners like us. Someday, though, we will seek out those thermals and higher mountaintops!

Blue Skies...

Larry and I began "flight school" for paragliding this past week. There is a club in UB south of town, with a nice ger camp next to a mountain and small river. The first 2 days were mostly introductory theory and ground training - practice controlling your "kite" while on the ground (except when I flew over a guy in a really strong wind). It's harder than it looks! Kind of like trying to hold 30 kites steady over your head, with about 100 strings attached to 5 straps for each hand.

On the third day we started with some small hills. All together we did over 40 of these small flights - about 2 minutes of graceful flight followed by 470 steps back up the hill. Who knew paragliding was such a tough sport!?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

O little town of Hovd

Hovd is only a town of about 30,000 (10% Kazakh?). We didn't spend a whole lot of time investigating the area. We were in the local market a couple of times, got to know the main strip through town pretty well, and even went on a small road trip to a countryside Kazakh town about 30km away.

We didn't even spend much time looking at construction and building materials... although I did hear that you can build a decent sized one-story house with about 2,000 clay bricks ($500). We didn't see a single bale of straw...

Most of our time was spent on the northern end of town visiting Kazakh homes and going to meet with local officials. We had lots of great contacts with leaders and teachers, met a few farmers and herders and business folks, and discussed all kinds of living issues with all kinds of Kazakh folks in Hovd.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Long Way Across

Finally some pics of the trip! Here's a couple of our favorite shots from the road... that long, winding dusty washboard road! Actually it was kind of fun to drive... didn't really matter if you stayed on the road or not. Thanks to God we never needed helmets or seatbelts (since our van doesn't have any)!

It was kind of like driving across Alaska and back, but without any of the trees, rivers or wildlife to look at along the way. There were lots of camels though, and plenty of shades of tan...

We camped out one night - set up in the dark, fried up a couple burgers, and our director (Phil) even slept out under the stars! He was really cold, and had to chase away a few horses so as not to get trampled, but he did it!

We did see a couple nice perennial snow-caps (about 4,000 meters), but Larry didn't bring any of his ropes... maybe next time.

Coming soon - a few pictures of the town.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Some how the time thus far teaching has flown by! We have just completed our 5th week of classes we all seem to be thriving! I am so pleased with how my classroom has come into shape and there is something for everyone. Here we are just this last Friday both working at our math and then having fun with science. The table you see us all over is full of sand, basically a sandbox inside. We used it to make our volcano, which was a success when it, not just erupted, but exploded upwards getting me with vinegar. What a hoot!!!