Today was a good day. We started with devotions, but instead of 1 big group, we broke into smaller groups of 5 or 6. We talked about Romans 6, that we are no longer slaves to sin, but free for righteousness. It was good, but Mongolians do not talk as much in a group as they do on the cell phone. If you ask a question, sometimes no one answers. They are just not as used to interactive classes. Maybe I should call in my questions on their cell phones – then I will get plenty of response.

After that I taught some of the teachers about biblical counseling. They were very intent and interested in the subject. Because Christianity is relatively new in Mongolia, they do not have much Christian books and information. It is a big disadvantage for them, but they are trying very hard and are very dedicated to God and their people. They are all trying to learn English, but it is very hard because it is so different from Mongul. They are the first people to try to do biblical counseling, and I will be praying for them.

After that I went out to the countryside with Tsek, a large animal vet. We did a couple of calls on sick horses. Now Ulaanbaatar is just north of the gobe desert, and it is very dry. The landscape is brown, treeless, and waterless. I don’t know how they survive here, but they do well. They mostly ride horses, often bareback, and they love horse racing. Not the sprinting kind, but the long distance 25 km kind. We did a call on a sick horse with liver disease: it was the winner of their biggest horse race last year, and is pictured below. He is improving, but he will probably never be a champion again. They live in geres, which is a round hut covered in animal skins. Tsek wanted to show me one, so he just opened the door and walked in. Now we are spoiled in this country with houses with thousands of sq ft, most of it unused. But this gere, which is the average size of about 20 ft diameter and maybe 300 sq ft had 8 or 9 people in it, and they were not fighting or arguing about anything, they even seemed happy that we barged in on them and offered us candy. They were boiling milk, and when it cools they will skim off the cream from the top and make butter. It smelled good which seems surprising when you have that many people living that close together for that long. I bet they don’t eat Korean food. Then it would not smell good. Not one bit.

We toured the vet school. It is not like our schools. But they are improving quickly, and they work hard and do the best they can. But when a pale skinned foreigner in a bright blue ski jacket walks into a lecture room, well it is like a pig in a parlor because I don’t fit in, so I took 1picture and left; they did not know I was almost a British knight, or they would have been more deferential.

For lunch I had a big portion of mutton, potatoes, rice and salad. They know I like coffee so they bought me some. It was a mug of hot water and a packet of Ye Ye coffee. Now if Nescafé is not good, this is worse. It is basically imitation coffee flavor with imitation creamer, and lots of sugar. It is not good. Even the name is not good. I don’t think the name is Mongul. I think it is English because it is the same sound they make when they are laughing at you because you paid money for this drink. I will not drink it again.

For dinner we were full because we had a late mutton lunch, so we decided to get desert. We went to the market and there were wonderful cakes and pastries…and coffee, all kinds of coffee, expresso, cappachino’s, and such. So we bought an entire chocolate cake and I got the MacCoffee, the picture was the best. It came and the cake was not so good. Anytime there is more frosting than dry cake flour, you know you are not eating Betty crocker, but at least I could wash it down with some real fresh coffee. It came as a mug of hot water and a packet of instant coffee, except instead of Ye Ye, it was MacCoffee. It was the exact same thing as before. This must be some kind of practical joke right, and they would all laugh and then bring me the real stuff. I waited, but no one bought anything, no one laughed, they just asked me why I did not finish my cake and coffee, was I not feeling well. This is not right. Don’t they know I am almost a knight? Maybe I will complain to the British embassy. But they will probably just say I should drink tea. Maybe I will challenge them to a game of sheep knuckle and after I beat their yaks off I will make them sit in a Russian van for a few hours until they do the right thing and make real coffee. I am trying to be more flexible and patient, but I am wearing down. Tomorrow is my last full day and I am sad, but I will not miss milk tea or YeYe coffee. Not one little bit. I think I need yak. I like yak.

Until Tomorrow. God Bless
Dr Mike