Today we had the college picnic for semester. We headed out to the same location that our church held our summer camp. Checking the weather forecast, it was 2 above, -2 with wind, when I left home, with a promised top of 11 and a 40% chance of rain. Not a great forecast for a picnic.
The way these things go is that I turn up at college and wait for people to tell me what's going on. So I turned up early, and ended up in a microbus heading out to Gachort, and we were there before 10am. It was indeed chilly. Others arrived over the next two hours, and proceedings began at midday.
We started with some singing, including songs with actions lead by students wearing onesies. So bizarre. Anyway, then we had a short sermon from 2 Tim 4, it was intelligible to me and quite on target. Then we had a time, well, I need to go back to explain the next part. Students have been assigned other students to secretly encourage and leave gifts for, over the last few weeks. So today what happened (as I can figure), is that students lined up at the front with gifts, facing towards the stage, and then students who had been their encourager came up and stood behind them, then the first line of students would turn around and see who it was and give them a gift in return. Alas, some students were not at the picnic, and just the nature of running such a line up as well, meant that some would turn around to no one.
After this we had lunch. Mongolian food is not my favourite. Nonetheless, we divided up by year group and I joined in some lunch with my students. They always worry that I do not eat enough. Partly it is because I eat so little in general, and because I have breakfast unlike many mongolians. Still, we got through lunch and enjoyed our fellowship.
In the afternoon there was some playing of basketball and football. Also some organised games. One of these involved bible charades. And then there was a race by year group, with each person's leg tied to the next person's. Also there was what I would call a bush dance. Very similar to the heel-and-toe.
|There were some falls|
|Bush Dance time!|
After this there was more free time for the playing of basketball and football again. As you can tell these are critical sports here. Finally we wrapped up around 4:30 with a group photo and the drive home (which was surprisingly quick).
I always find these types of events interesting, because I am literally the only foreigner present. It serves both to remind me of how foreign I am, but also that part of me is localised. I am accepted and brought into local ways. And our unity is not in my mongolian language skills, but in Christ.