Today I spent a good hour talking to Chicago architecture student Sarah Bassett on US-Mongolia connections - architecture, urbanism and research - including ACMS, GTZ, Fulbright scholars and other researchers and projects I have seen here. Like Melitta Kuglitsch's work with savings groups in Bayanzurkh Ger District. I chuckle comparing my work here with 'Dreamspaces'... with the helicopter circling David Adjaye's glamorous trio on a rooftop...
A video piece was one good suggestion for my блок / blog (draft). Meanwhile, one former student blog-reader Farisayi Utete (Conservation architect, Harare) suggested a radio piece on the BBC, and another, James Webb (Ueber-Designer-Architect, Amsterdam), encouraged me to publish a book.
The summer weather in Mongolia has been changeable, with some strong downpours causing flooding in the western peri-urban "twenty-first microdistrict" around the college. Many colleagues are making the most of the greenness, thanks to the rain, to holiday in the countryside.
Since their arrival on the Trans-siberian train last week I have hosted Ana Rewakowicz (Canada) and Annu Wilenius (Finland), musing about moving space, the state of Ulaanbaatar, and planning for this years' Blue Sun Art Camp with Yondon Dalkh-Ochir and others.
On Saturday at VSO I met over thirty Mongolian Deaf people who are learning American Sign Language with a Mongolian trainer and Nickson Kakiri. It was a basic training for a video conference/ cultural exchange conversation between deaf America and Mongolia in September. In a three hour training session, I learned many terms, and met two Norwegian Deaf tourists with their Mongolian Guide, Nemekhbayar Batnasah (UNV, see p.2) Afterwards, I was the only hearing person, besides a professional MSL/ ASL Mongolian-English translator, joining a large group which went on to a cafe. There were many discussions, several simultaneously crossing one another on a long table, and the most arcane conversation I have yet witnessed in my new experience of deaf culture, as two Mongolians discussed signing and deaf culture in Mongolia in Mongolian Sign Language. *