Sunday, October 28, 2007
Happy Birthday, Alta!
Yesterday we had a birthday lunch with Altantsetseg, the Director of the Office of International Affairs at the National University of Mongolia and someone who's been incredibly helpful in my research. Accompanying us was Saraa (who's in the middle in the above photo; Alta's on the right and I'm on the left), a colleague and all-around wonderful person, too!
I'm really, really glad I've had the chance to meet these accomplished, hospitable, and generally great people on this trip to Mongolia. I hope this is just the beginning of fun and intellectually stimulating times together.
I'm also including a photo of John with our friend Bayara's daughter, who clearly wasn't as cold as John was yesterday! Regarding that: the weather here has gotten dramatically colder over the past week. Yesterday a jar of water we had on the windowsill near a slightly open window froze solid. Yes, it's that cold. According to weather.com, it's 14 degrees F in Ulaanbaatar at the moment. Note that it's 10:40 AM.
For those of you who have fond memories of the place, I'm also including a snapshot of the State Department Store. Check out all the cars-- and it was Saturday afternoon, so this is very, very light traffic. There are now nearly 100,000 cars in Ulaanbaatar. The traffic is horrendous much of the time.