We have now been in Mongolia for one whole month and we are coming up to our 7th wedding anniversary in a few days. One thing I can state with confidence is that our married life has never been ‘settled’ or in any way shape or form dull. We started married life travelling for two years when we left the UK the day after our wedding and we haven’t stopped having adventures.
The visa situation is much the same. I thought I was out of ideas until I read this website http://www.mongoliacenter.org/
I decided to email them last week and heard back from Mark Tasse, the Resident Director, very quickly. I have arranged a meeting with him for tomorrow morning to see if anything can be done to help us conduct our research and to get us back in the saddle out in the Mongolian countryside.
At the same time Tim found this online article
We read it and were amazed at how much we related to it so we contacted the author and she not only replied, but has very kindly offered to accompany us to one of the Mongolian Universities she used to be on the board with to see if she can help pull any strings for us.
This is a good place for us to thank all of you who have sent us words of encouragement and support and to say that doors are opening for us even if they weren’t the doors we originally thought we were knocking on!
Two other exciting things have come our way this week. One is a lady called Robyn Hepburn. She is a British long rider and lives with her husband in Mongolia. http://www.mongolianmumbles.com/
Robyn is part of the Expat Equestrian Riding Club and has put me in touch with Baggi and Saraa who run this company and have extremely good prices for riding. http://www.horsetrekmongolia.com/
I am calling them this week to arrange a weekend of horse riding and a night in a Ger. We can at least get some fun out of this trip.
The second exciting thing to happen, was I received an email yesterday from Toril Strooper who runs http://rockymountainhorses.nl/?lang=en
saying she was interested in our profile & asking if we would be interested in visiting/working with her….errr yes! Tim and I hope to visit before we return to the UK.
Talking of fun, we luckily don’t have much time to dwell on our visa woes because the majority of our time is taken up with Mongolian language lessons, homework and walking to and from school. Our teachers follow the death-squad school of language teaching, with a sort of “you will learn or else” attitude to the whole thing. They seem to think that the human brain can be terrified into language learning; beaten into submission with the present continuous then force-fed vocabulary. Both of us seem to have picked up a surprising amount of Mongolian during our month here and will no doubt charm and delight you with a demonstration when we return to the UK. Someone remarked that it sounds like two cats having a fight but this really misses many of it’s subtleties of tone and timbre. Admittedly, there is more hissing and phlegm production than with most languages but really, this just adds to it’s singular charm.
Apart from all the language learning our life mainly consists of watching the National Geographic channel; it’s all about fish and reptiles, and trying to construct vegetarian meals from cabbage, carrots & noodles. We occasionally go out for a pint of Chinggis at the Grand Khaan Irish Pub.