The sun it shines on me...
Choibalsan Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
Naadam (ĐťĐ°Đ°Đ´Đ°ĐĽ) is a Mongolian festival, formerly religious but now just a general national holiday, held from July 11th to July 13th. It celebrates the three â€śmenâ€™sâ€ť sports, wrestling (more topless Mongolian men), horse racing and archery. Women compete as well. It is also the 800th anniversary of something Chinngis (Ghenghis) Khan did, so itâ€™s a super giant holiday this year. Originally I was supposed to fly from Choiblasan to
Work is fine. Thursday was let the girls drive the Bobcat day. I finally realized my dream of driving a Bobcat. Now I have to think up a new reason to live. Friday was safari day. We went to the lake. Yes, an actual lake! There were swans and ducks. I saw some herdsmenâ€™s gers along the way with herds of cows and horses. As well there were some large unidentified birds.
Due to the companyâ€™s questionable policy of hiring people for the same job with similar names, my cross shift Kirstine has arrived.
As part of Kirstineâ€™s orientation, Saturday was baby animal day. The baby hawk is getting big; itâ€™s also getting adult feathers. There is also yet another new puppy, possibly the cutest friendliest puppy in the world. Its name sounds something like Hooder. It crawls into your arms like a little baby and nibbles on your hand, face, shirt, until it gets bored of the attention and wanders off for a nap. Me and Kirstine were fawning over the puppies, cuddling them and calling them cute names, so one of the guys remarked, I wish I was that dog.... Of course Iâ€™ll attach pictures of the baby animals. Kirstineâ€™s orientation will continue over the next few weeks with trips to Mardai, the survey hill, the forest, and the other mines in the area.
Sunday was actually start dewatering the mine day, with a trip to Mardai for cigarettes and chocolate (the chocolate was for me, the cigarettes for the guys).
Also because of Kirstineâ€™s arrival they moved us into a new ger because they figured weâ€™d want to live together. Itâ€™s nice, only two of us and we have a table and shelves. I was alone one night in the ger and everyone was looking after me as they thought I would be lonely. I was hanging out at one of the other gers, two gers away up the hill, and one of the guys insisted on walking me home. Chivalry is not dead here.
My Mongolian is progressing well. Our translator Bolor said he wasnâ€™t going to teach me things anymore because if I learn any more then they canâ€™t talk their boyâ€™s talk in front of me. But the girls will still teach me! Theyâ€™ve started speaking Russian when they donâ€™t want me to understand. Ingenious. Now I have to learn more Russianâ€¦.
On a walk from the office to the cafeteria one day I lost my security badge. Weâ€™re supposed to show them to security before we enter the mine site. This morning I drew myself a new security badge with my name and a crude picture on it, and they keep waving me in! Either Iâ€™m a really good drawer (Iâ€™m not) or I donâ€™t look very threatening (this face?) or maybe theyâ€™re just not paying attention (must be that).
So with the exception of the moth infestation (theyâ€™re everywhere, in the drillhole binders, in the hand drierâ€¦.) everything is peachy keen. The weather is fantastic. Everything has turned green. Birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming. Iâ€™m even getting a bit of a tan.