Walking on the Tuul River

Today, Mark and I went for a walk “down by the river”. Actually on the frozen river, as it was such a lovely sunny day.
Last week some of Mark’s co-workers went for a dip in the cold Tuul River water. We think this was the spot where they chopped some of the ice away.

20140126-195647.jpg

20140126-195721.jpg
Look how deep the ice is!

20140126-195813.jpg

20140126-195832.jpg
Mark and I met this nice young man who was playing an ice game like curling on the ice. He was happy to exchange some English with us.

20140126-195951.jpg

20140126-200038.jpg

Children of the Peak

Yesterday I was able to visit the Children of the Peak Sanctuary which was built for the most disadvantaged children living by the dump in Ulaanbaatar. The parents of these children spend their days searching in the dump for things to sell and items to heat their gers. It was built by the Julie Veloo foundation last year, as many of the children were left at home alone while their parents were gone all day. It is a beautiful center where children are kept warm and fed a hot meal.

20140124-145215.jpg
The dump is up behind the hill. The kitchen is beautiful.

20140124-145303.jpg
They were napping when we arrived.

20140124-145339.jpg
Sue who is a member of IWAM had a friend knit over 100 sweaters(jumpers in Australia) to give to these children.

20140124-145628.jpg
Julie Veloo on the right is the founder of this foundation.

20140124-145745.jpg
The children loved their new sweaters.

20140124-145935.jpg

20140124-150103.jpg
The little boy that I am holding is being raised by a disabled grandfather, so a worker from the center brings him everyday so he may receive some stimulation.
The little girl on the left in the pink sweater was left at the dump when she was only 2 days old. Another poor family found her, and is raising her.
More cute kids with their new sweaters on.

20140124-150501.jpg

20140124-150520.jpg

20140124-150547.jpg

20140124-150606.jpg

20140124-150642.jpg
It was cute to see this little boy put on his shoes and socks when he woke up. He did not want any help.

20140124-150754.jpg
This little girl was all dressed up before she got her sweater.

20140124-150849.jpg

Year of the Horse

I am getting ready for the Chinese/Mongolian New Year which takes place on January 31st this year.
People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive although sometimes they talk too much. They are wise, talented and like entertainment and large crowds.

20140122-155131.jpg

Westie is 8 months old

Westie turned 8 months old last week. He is as cute as ever.

20140118-100533.jpg

20140118-100551.jpg

20140118-100607.jpg

20140118-100627.jpg
I like this happy picture of Westie.

20140118-100701.jpg
He is enjoying eating fruit.

20140118-100735.jpg

20140118-100751.jpg

20140118-100826.jpg

More pictures from hospital

Here is a better picture of the group of us at the hospital.

20140116-200654.jpg
A delivery room.

20140116-200743.jpg
Special care nursery.

20140116-200818.jpg
In this picture I am making the baby bundle.

20140116-200913.jpg
During the ribbon cutting ceremony for mentoring room at the orphanage.

20140116-201038.jpg

A great day of volunteer work

Today was a very heartwarming day, as we visited 2 maternity hospitals, and a state run orphanage.
At the first hospital a doctor came out and talked to us. He mentioned that 70,000 children were born in Mongolia last year, with 6,000 at his hospital.

20140116-160755.jpg
He said Mongolia would reach 3 million people this year. A couple moms came out with their babies and received a bundle prepared by the HIWAM group. Each bundle held a couple handmade blankets, a piece of clothing, hat and socks.
Thirty bundles are given to each hospital to be handed out to a mom in need.

20140116-161503.jpg
At the next hospital we all suited up for a tour.

20140116-161608.jpg
It was wonderful to see the little babies which stay in the same bed with their mom, with 6 or 7 beds per room. Twenty babies are born each day at this hospital. It brought tears to my eyes when I held the little baby, remembering holding my little Westie. Also emotional when I saw a couple little ones on oxygen remembering Weston’s early days.

20140116-162254.jpg
The outside of the hospital.

20140116-162346.jpg
We next visited a state run orphanage that holds over 100 children. It was bright and cheerful with the children engaged in many activities.

20140116-162559.jpg
This little girl was happy to show us her room.

20140116-162753.jpg
The IWAM group donated money to furnish this mentoring room, so many students came to tell us their stories.

20140116-163006.jpg
They had wonderful snacks, then a big bowl of ice cream, and then chicken and rice. It was delicious.

20140116-164508.jpg
Just a wonderful day filled with great fullness and appreciation.

Saying goodbye to Westie

Last night Mark and I said goodbye to Westie.

20140106-101618.jpg
I got a facial.

20140106-101656.jpg

20140106-101720.jpg
I am going to miss those little hands.

Going to miss Westie

Just packing up to leave to go back to Mongolia. Going to miss this cute little face sooooooo much.

20140105-094936.jpg

20140105-094958.jpg

20140105-095026.jpg
At least we can stay in touch on Westie’s cell phone.

Happy New Year 2014

We celebrated New Year’s Eve playing games which Westie enjoyed watching.Mark and I had a great time watching him all day.

20140101-000716.jpg
He is such a joy to be around.

20140101-000856.jpg