Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tariat Soum

by Kara

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Tariat Soum with my sitemate Sarah and her visiting mom and sister. (Mark had to go to UB so was unable to join us, but he's already been to Tariat with his work.) Tariat is way out in the countryside and is known for being really beautiful. Fortunately it was, otherwise the bumpiest car ride I've ever been on would not have been worth it. Here are some images from the trip!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Camp

by Kara

I just got back from a long, full 7 days of children's summer camp that the organization I work with is running all summer. I'm too tired to do much of a write up, but here are some pictures from the week!

The kids' cabins

Morning line-up

Taking pictures for the photo scavenger hunt - made possible by Josh and Elizabeth, who donated cameras!

Happy kids, pretty sunset

Monday, July 12, 2010


by Kara

Last weekend, July 10-11, our province held it's Naadam festival. Naadam is an annual, national event in Mongolia. There's a big festival in the capital, but each province holds it's own. Last year we got to see this celebration in a different province, but I didn't get to see very much. This year we spent the full two-days at it.

The festival involves three sports: horse-racing, wrestling, and archery. You may remember that one of the projects I've been working on is the Mongolian Helmet Project. I found donors to contribute new and used helmets for the child jockeys to wear in the horse races. The project was pretty successful! We met our goal and collected over 100 helmets. We distributed many of the helmets the day before the race. Many of the kids wore them in the races too! My coworkers did a great job coordinating the distribution of the helmets and really helped sell the idea of wearing the helmets to the trainers. Hopefully, with each year, more and more kids will wear the helmets in the races, and eventually they'll all be wearing them.

I could go on and on about Naadam, but to really see what it's all about, take a look at the photos I've posted here:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water Charity

by Mark

One of the many different things that Kara has been working on here in Mongolia is to secure funding for the Arkhangai Summer Camp.  She probably won't write this blog herself, so I'm going to mention it.  She has spent a large part of her 2010 writing grants to obtain funding for everything from building new latrines, to obtaining cooking utensils, to aiding some of the less fortunate kids in the community by giving them a chance to attend the camp free of charge.

One of the more recently funded projects is to build new latrines at the summer camp, and the money has been fronted by an organization called Water Charity.  We're not asking that you give money to this project, but if you do want to read about the project or you do feel called to assist, please check here.

The camp is currently running, and the facilities are already looking much better.  I'm sure Kara will post some pictures later showing the kids enjoying the grounds.  For a bit more information, see the recent blog post on the Advance Humanity site that features Kara's guest post.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

We're Back

by Mark

It's been awhile since we've posted - don't fear...we simply made a quick 4 week trip back to the U.S. to see friends and family.  We're back now!  We went back to take part in 2 weddings, a HS graduation, 2 Mariners games (ya, we won them both!), Father's day, a 50th birthday party...and hours upon hours of catching up with those we love!

Knowing how busy we are in the coming months, I'm sure we'll have plenty of material to write about when the time comes.  As for now, we simply want to say thank you for all those that took the time to meet with us on short notice, and for those that fed us and provided housing.  It was a whirlwind time in the States, and we know that just as that went so quickly, so will our remaining 13 months here.  Take care.