Thursday, May 22, 2008

Keeping Busy

My 'counterpart' / College vice Director Hashbayar last week suggested we revive the Energy Efficient House project. What had happened to the consultation, I asked? The World Vision area director had decided - after terminating the planned professionally prepared community consultation - that there was no suitable community member in Bayankhoshuu. Now, Hashaa said, could the college draw our own model Energy Efficient house? Towards whom should it be directed? What location? I asked. We would just do it generically as a model, Hashaa suggested, then solicit interest. I said I felt the UNDP Mongolia Energy Efficient Housing 'pattern book' was already filling that need.

Hashbayar said he also had a client wanting to build town houses, not unlike those the college's company has previously built. I suggested noting down some client requirements at his social meeting planned for the Thursday evening. He chuckled - that's "not the Mongolian way". I was introduced to a student who would help with drawing (and who would learn something), and waited in vain for the call which was to follow the next day.

English-speaking club has been in spontaneous recess, perhaps because of the Enterovirus-71 causing quarantine confinement for children under 16, and also my little neighbours are out of contact for lessons, and we are getting our laundry machine washed at a guesthouse instead of at the neighbours'.

A German-speakers' meeting was arranged so I could introduce Mandukhai, (the hard-working daughter-assistant of my lecturer colleague) to Jo, a German teacher intern from Vienna; a friend of a friend working here in UB. Mandukhai has expressed interest in studying in German-speaking Europe. With Ariunaa along to make four of us, we met at Sacher, the Viennese cafe in the city centre, and I paid exorbitantly for a bad coffee. Meanwhile my college companions were tricked by the two lines on the menu; Apple juice 1500, large 2500. They each ordered apple juice, and when leaving, were informed (embarrassingly) that these had been 'large' - and about three times the price of lunch in the West where we work. Meanwhile, we had mostly spoken English, but had discovered some things about opportunities for foreign students in Austria.

1 comment:

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