Sunday, May 24, 2009
We saw many new things as we journeyed from one city to the next. Our first target as we continued north from the interesting rest stop before described (see post dated May 16th) was a city called Darkhan. This gentleman seemed to be guarding the way to the city.
It's likely difficult for you to get a perspective of size but he is probably about three stories tall and seemed to be made of materials which might be commonly used in construction.
After staying the first night in the Kiwi Hotel (let's just say it was not the best place we have seen even though the food at the restaurant was, in fact, quite good, despite taking them over an hour to get it to us), we switched to this room at the Comfort Hotel. Quite nice, as you can see. We got a really good deal on this particular room because it was about the last one they had left. [We probably shouldn't have shown you this. Now you won't feel sorry for us!)
Once settled in our room, we went to eat at their restaurant. This room is where they seated us! There was an in the wall TV and a nice big window overlooking the area. We ate at that nice little table . . . and it didn't take them an hour to bring us a really nice dinner!
We ended up taking three helpers with us. Sitting next to Sister Caldwell is Zola who just wanted to come along and help our translator with the work to be done. Next is Miigaa, our translator, who did most of the teaching. Next to her is Tsolmon who lives in Erdenet and wanted to visit his family. He was very helpful in carrying baggage and directing us to the church buildings and other areas unfamiliar to the rest of us.
The two girls stayed in a room which we provided and Tsolmon stayed with friends in the area.
By the way, no matter where you stay in Mongolia (our missionary apartments included!), the beds are pretty much rock hard. No box spring and mattress sets here! Just what looks like a slightly padded box springs. Ouch! This was the only one we had seen which at least included a one inch foam pad on the bed. We stuffed a couple of spare fluffy comforters (which are kept in the room), under the bottom sheet and it really wasn't to bad! [Now do you feel sorry for us again?!]
As we continued even further north at the appointed time, we saw a temporary change in scenery. Trees! Not very many, mind you, but trees,none-the-less. It was really nice and a bit refreshing even if it didn't last very long.
Unfortunately, the landscape returned to the rather bleak and dry rolling hills we have seen so much of in Mongolia before we reached Erdenet, our next destination. But we understand that further west it becomes very picturesque for miles on end. If we are fortunate, we may be called on t0 provide some instruction in those areas, as well.
The horse drawn cart shown below is becoming a frequent sight as we travel from place to place, now that warmer weather has arrived. Sometimes the carts are loaded with a variety of goods. Other times there is what looks to be an entire family bunched on that rather small but serviceable conveyance. We assume that this is the only form of transportation some of them have.
We'll conclude our trip next time.