Friday, May 29, 2009

Snow is in the air

Earlier in the week is was -10 degrees, snow & yesterday/today +27 degrees, hot & sunny. Dressing in the morning is always a fun game because you never can be totally prepared.

Hi everyone. This week was full of ups & downs. Classes went very well for both of us. My instructors informed me that we are ahead of schedule & in 2 weeks will have my first Mongolian language test. The test will include: written, comprehension & conversation. Please pray for me as this test will be a challenge. Teresa's test is still some time away so she still has lots of time to study.

This past week our language/home helper showed me how to make хуушуур (hooshoer). The ingredients are basic & they are not difficult to make. Flour, salt, water, ground mutton, garlic, onions, & a pan full of oil to fry them in.

The kids & I really liked them. As I am laughing out loud I can say that we are still working on Teresa. One of my Mongolian language instructors told me that most Mongol's can only afford one meal a day & try to keep their meal costs to 1000₮ MN per day which equals (as of today June 1st) $0.498 CAD. For breakfast they will have a cup of salty milk tea & a slice of bread or two. Lunch will be a drink & a cookie & super will be their large meal including хуушуур (hooshoer) & salty milk tea to drink. This still challenges me when i sit for a meal.

Since we have been in Mongolia all of us eat so much less them in Canada. We all have lost 10-18 pounds because the Mongol culture is less focused on food.

As I was walking home (a couple of streets over) I took this picture of a painting on the side a an older Russian apartment building. After taking the picture walked a couple of paces & saw this (needle) laying on the ground. I didn't know what it was
used for, but prayed for the person. It is something we have gotten used to. Garbage is everywhere, on the sidewalks, around trees & bushes, in parking lots & along the sides of the streets. Once a week the city pays men & women to walk around with a straw broom & a small bin on wheels to clean up the garbage along the streets. Once they have filled their bin they make piles along the roadside. A fews days after the neighbourhood dogs got their next few days of food the garbage trucks come pick up what is left. After the weekends the streets are full again.

Today was a holiday here in Mongolia. It is/was Mother & Child Day. It is a holiday to encourage families to spend time together. We went for a walk & everywhere there were cakes, balloons, toys & children dressed in beautiful spring clothes. All the littles girls had on their best dresses & the boys had on their best little outfits. Most of the moms & dad's were dressed up too. It seemed like a day when families would save & treat each other on this day. Like a family gift giving day. We walked around the city like hundreds of thousands of Mongol families did & stopped at a homemade ice cream place to enjoy a small ice cream together.

Kiel lost his 5th tooth today & has another tooth that is loose. He was building Lego (his favourite toy) & bit two pieces to separate them & his tooth popped out.

Praise points for us has been Teresa's 2nd instructor, Хааса (Haasa) is beginning to understand Teresa & is better meeting her language needs, The kids had a better home school week, We have met another family (fellow Mongolian Language students) with young children. They have a 5 year old son, a 3 year old daughter & a 1 year old daughter. They are from Wisconsin & they cam to Mongolia back in September of '09.

Things you all can pray about are our language learning this week, the kids home schooling continues to go well & the day to day challenges we face with living on the other side of the world. Satan continues to try his best to discourage, distract, weaken & divide us as a family.