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Showing posts from November, 2009

quirks and joys #?

it has been a little while...

1. There are trash trucks here. They make music. The music is the same as the ice cream truck. Appetizing, huh?

2. On the subject of ice cream, our friend came over the other day, after she had been here for about 30 minutes she pulled out a bag from her backpack. Inside the bag was some choco-taco like ice cream treats. They weren't melted, at all.

3. When Mongolians come to our apartment they tell us that it is cold. Today one of them put on their coat [it goes all the way to her knees].

4. Erin and I have decided that 20 degrees is the new 70. When it's 20 degrees we think it's warm.

5. We practice our Mongolian wrap. No, that has nothing to do with music. It is the way you tie your scarf carefully around your face and neck so as to block out all air.

6. This past week I caught a little stomach virus [self diagnosed] and Sun Lae brought me some get-better-snacks. She brought some bread, oranges and kidney beans. She said she brought the kidney …

wrestling matches.

"...And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day..." Genesis 32:24

Lately I have been reading through Genesis and Exodus. I am enjoying it but I just cannot stop thinking about Jacob. I have always resonated with Jacob, even though he is sometimes a little bit of a punk. But this particular story, Jacob wrestling with God, has become especially close to my heart.

I have been wrestling a lot here. Before coming, I had ample warning about culture shock but not many people warned about the mental and spiritual shocks that come with totally new experiences. I suppose it is because people don't know how to talk about it. I think I understand why they don't--they're a little harder to navigate and work through.

With all of the shifts that have been going on with me, there has come a certain tension. This tension is the colliding of what I have learned and thought I understood my entire life and the reality that I can now count on no…

music makes my world go 'round.

Recently my dear friend Melissa gave me privileged access to her grooveshark account. It was a lot of fun.

So, I was thinking...wouldn't it be cool if I created one that people could log into and make playlists?

I'd love to hear what you're listening to and maybe even learn some new music...

go here: grooveshark.com
email address: holli.vining@gmail.com
username: mongolia
password: mongolia
create a new playlist.

i'm excited for my ears to hear what you choose.

agape and peace.

creepin'

Sorry about posting 3 times in one day but hopefully this one will have a little more meaning than the other two (although, they are funny).

Last week we were having dinner with two girls that are working in different capacities here in UB. They have both been here for about a year or more and they were telling us about their adjustment experiences. They affirmed our rough beginnings but then they kept talking about Mongolia, after adjustments. They said that Mongolia has a way of getting under your skin. It really grows on you and you can't help but love it.

One of the girls was talking about how for a while, and even still now, she tries to shield her skin, she's not ready to love Mongolia yet. I've been feeling that same way. I want to shield my skin because part of me is afraid of loving this place.

Today we went to Terelj National Park with the Seo's (the missionary family that is here). We went to go have a picnic and see the park. Their girls went and it was a lo…

frozen things.

I can't believe I forgot about this quirk. I think you'll understand why I decided to post it...it might even deserve the lone post. You be the judge.

7. A few times this week I've had the pleasure of getting to go to a Mongolian bathroom. If you're confused about what this means, see picture:



That is an outhouse. It is below freezing in Mongolia every day. People use out houses for tinkling and pooping. Imagine this: mounds of frozen poop.

COME-AND-GET-ON-OUR-BUS!

For your enjoyment and, the latest quirks and joys:

1. The number one thing to do on the "Things to do in UB" list is visit the post office. We visited the post office and sent some postcards, however we have no idea if the stamps we got actually are international. They just gave us two for each postcard. So, watch your mail boxes! Also, I'm pretty sure there is a little tiny person in the box that you slide your mail in, I'll be sure to take a picture next time we go.

2. At each bus station there are buses and microbuses. The microbuses (basically like a taxi-van) are the more interesting. For starters, there is a person who sits right inside the sliding door to take money and to yell some Mongolian jibberish that I say must be, "COME-AND-GET-OUR-BUS! COME-AND-GET-ON-OUR-BUS! IT-IS-BETTER-THAN-THEIRS!"(make sure you slur it all together). How's that for competition? Along with the microyeller, there are about 30 other people in each bus. Crammed in is an…

H1N1 blues...

We had our big meeting today which ended up meaning we made faces across the table with Batkhuu (he works at the church), for a while. The other missionaries bounced back and forth in a seemingly colorful, Korean conversation. The rest of us didn't know what in the world they were talking about so we waited patiently to have an explanation.

When we all came together to speak in English, we discussed all the different opportunities and ministries at the churches. We decided that Erin and I will separate and serve at two different churches. We will each serve at one church for about 8 months and then swap to the other church for the next 8 months. This way we get to know a lot of people and can really be involved in a lot of different ways.

Some of the ministries include:

visiting women at a detention center
a literacy program for children
teaching English (I think we could do this all day, everyday if we wanted to)
a youth and college aged worship service in English
daycare
after school pr…