Friday, March 23, 2012

The day we ate with a NASA engineer

Well it's easy to sleep in in Mongolia, on account of the sun, a north facing window, and not many places open until 10am anyway. So we slept in until 8 this morning. Porridge is rapidly becoming our staple breakfast, edging out the fading memory of Weetbix.

As you may have guessed, this week seems to involve a bit of schlepping around the house. That's how the morning panned out, though with some delightful Skype calls from Australia.

After lunch we walked to our language school. One of the latest trends in Mongolia is to wear fake ugg boots around. Anyway, we meet our teacher and headed off to Mongolian immigration. This involved two buses, first a trolley bus (7c per person), then a longer ride on a more regular bus (14c per person), virtually out to the airport. It was a nice trip overall, since you get out of the city a little bit.

Mongolian Immigration has a nice new office, and with the help of our teacher we were applying for residency permits. This mainly involves (a) bringing 5 items of paperwork, (b) your Mongolian friend traipsing between officials, (c) you handing over money, (d) fingerprinting and photography, (e) come back next week - btw we're keeping your passports.

It was all quite smooth, though giving up one's passport for the week is counter-intuitive to us. We also "met" some French travelers, young scruffy looking guys who appeared to be scamping all across the continent.

The trip back was the same, and then it was home. Oh, apparently our boxes might arrive in another week. No hurry, we don't have an apartment for them. Also, in Mongolia apartments don't come with all sorts of things - they might not have flooring, they probably have a sink, but no oven or kitchen. So even when we get one there will be some construction to be done.

On to the title of today's post. We have a lovely Korean/American couple on the team here, and they live 'next door', which actually means the next stairwell, so we went to visit them for dinner, down our 5 flights of stairs, up their five flights of stairs. We had a lovely time with them, and their four exuberant children, and were fascinated to learn that the husband was an engineer with NASA, and had planned to stay there working on the Constellation program, but had prayed that if God wanted him in Mongolia, God would shut down the Constellation program, which happened within the week thanks to Obama's slashing of the space program. So now he is here, teaching and sharing about Jesus.

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