Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dust Storm

We have always heard about the terrible winds and dust storms in Mongolia, but had never really seen one here in the capital city (we did see one near Erdenet during a trip there earlier this year). We do see a lot of wind and it does carry dust with it. And it can be a bit irritating to try to walk in. But we usually don't get the really bad ones we had only heard about. That is, until a couple of days ago.

This one was just outside the city as we were driving back into it.
Here are some pictures.

The first one is of the approaching storm. The next two are of us in the middle of it (inside a car, of course - we try not to be out and unprotected when these dust storms come along!).

Needless to say, things have a tendency to get a bit dusty as a result of these storms. We tape our windows around the edges to help keep the dust out, but at least some still finds its' way into the apartment.

So, we sometimes do a lot of dusting!

Some of the people here tell us they don't like spring. Too much wind and dust!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ski Resort

Thought it might be interesting to let you see a picture of what is left of the new and only snow skiing resort in Mongolia. This is just outside the capital city of Ulaanbaarar, to the east.

We thought about posting a picture when there was lots of snow, but you couldn't really tell it was there from this distance. Now, all that is left is the compacted ski runs and it stands out really well.

They even have the runs very well lit at night, during the winter months.

We hear it is pretty pricey to ski there! They also have a restaurant at the base of the runs -- or so we are told.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garden Time!

Can't believe it but Spring is really here! The forecast for Wednesday is . . . 80 degrees! That's 28 degrees warmer than the forecast for our home town of Magna, Utah! Go figure!

And, it's time to get gardens in here. The Church is once again helping the members here be able to plant vegetables. This year, we are buying lots of seeds, seed potatoes, gardening implements and even materials for small greenhouses for several families in each branch.

This is a picture of the type of greenhouse envisioned. This one was from 2009 and is one that a member built on his own.

And, we have published a book which provides a significant amount of information on how to grow a vegetable garden.

One of the new focuses of the Church here in Mongolia this year, is food production. We want to help these families become self sufficient. We were surprised to learn that some families were able to make some of their produce from 2009, last all winter long! It seems that families who have a small shanty type structure as a home (a step above a ger), dug root cellars below their homes and put a trap door in their living room floor! And they still have some produce from last year that is still in very good condition! Amazing.