Cashmere Shopping, Protesting and Crazy Spring Weather
on Sarah in Mongolia (Mongolia), 26/Apr/2010 11:17, 34 days ago
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I had a lovely weekend last weekend. Sadly Sarah, my flat mate has moved out as we are moving into 2 separate apartments. I will miss living with her, but we will of course see each other very regularly so I am not too worried! And after 10 days living on my own I must say I quite enjoy having my own space.Aside from that my debating got cancelled (which of course I found out about when I arrived on Saturday morning - the joys of Mongolia!) so I headed up to Zaisan and watched some floor hockey - vicious uni hoc with the goalies wearing scary paint ball masks making them look like bugs! It was a good spectator sport and a good walk from UB for me as well!In the evening I was invited over to another volunteers apartment where I was fed amazing chocolate brownies and fresh pineapple - what a treat! We played a fab board game called pandemic which I must get my hands on when I get home. It involves collaboration to prevent pandemics spreading around the world - a good volunteer game!On Sunday I was up early to meet up with some other volunteers to make the most of the nice sunny weather. We walked up the hills around Ulaanbaatar and although I am still very unfit the view from the top is always worth it. It is always great to get out of the main bit of the city and see some of the hills, even if they are still very grey and brown. In fact we got very excited because there was a tree with leaves on it! You can tell how sick we are of winter at this stage. Saying that I did get slightly sunburnt so that will teach me!In the afternoon me and some other female volunteers headed out to the factory shops to check out the cashmere! Mongolia is not well known for its cashmere as most of it is sold to China before it is made into products. However Mongolian cashmere can be very high quality and it certainly feels very lovely. I have spotted a fabulous blue pashmina I fancy so I will have to save up for that!SO a busy weekend left me pretty shattered for the week! But of course it was a busy week in work too. As I mentioned last week CMTU held a rally on Wednesday and although the event itself was a little anticlimactic as I hadnt a clue what was going on as everything was in Mongolian, it was very exciting to see the background to a rally. To see the steps that trade unions carry out before they can protest, how they are organised and what challenges there are was an experience! Of course this meant I got no work done last week as everyone was distracted by preparations for the rally.Another good week at MEA as well. A long with bringing Go help, the new funders for our book ger, to see the ger which was a lovely trip I finally got our first newsletter published. When I first arrived at MEA 2 of the things I thought I would be able to get organised easily were updates to the website and a newsletter. 6 months later, after 2 months of work on it, we have our first newsletter. We are still working on the website. The things you think will be the quickest can take forever in Mongolia! But this is one more of the things I had been asked to carry out in my job description, and there are only a few more things I need to do!As I mentioned last weekend we had fabulous weather, in a complete about turn my weekend visit to Arvaikheer had to be cancelled due to crazy snow storm in the south. It is a real shame as I am not sure if I will be able to fit in another visit. Fingers crossed I will manage a quick weekend trip before I have to leave. Of course because the visit was cancelled I ended up not taking the time off and just spending the weekend relaxing. 2 coffee appointments on Saturday (one that lasted over 5 hours and ended with us being kicked out of the coffee house at closing time!) and a day of chores on Sunday.I got some great news yesterday - my Mum has decided she is brave enough to come and visit me on her own in June. I am really looking forward to seeing her and have started the itinerary plans already - with only 6 days there is a lot to pack in!