Throwing trash away is more complicated than it seems, especially when you move to a foreign country. True, garbage is not the most appealing topic, but since most people generate a significant amount of garbage in their daily lives, it’s an important one. Living in an environmentally progressive community in southern California, I got used … Continue reading Do they really recycle here? Waste disposal in Mongolia and around the world
I feel like I’ve been blast into the past. It’s 1985, and vegetarianism is still a little unusual, unheard of in some places. Most of my friends are not vegetarian and have never encountered vegetarians before. They think it’s weird, and some of them give me hard time about it. I try hard not to … Continue reading Being vegetarian in Mongolia
Lately I’ve been waking up at about 3 am to the smell of smoke. After living in southern California so long, I always think Wildfire! Then I remember where I am, and what it really means. Ulaanbaatar has a couple of distinctions: It’s the coldest capital city in the world, with temperatures dipping down to … Continue reading Winter is coming
My school requires all new international faculty to study Mongolian for the first year they are here. I was very glad about that. We get “course relief” to do it—supposedly it takes the place of teaching one course—but in my case, my department’s need for instructors was so great that I do it on top … Continue reading Mongolian Culture Day
It’s taken me a while to write a post about my work here because I needed to let enough time pass to gain perspective on it. I’ve really been happy here so far, and I'd forgotten what it feels like. The last time I had such a great time teaching was in Ethiopia. Hmmm…is there … Continue reading Why I love my work again
The other day I was shopping at Tenger Plaza, my local supermarket, and I found quinoa in the grain section. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, quinoa originated in South America, in the Lake Titicaca basin of the Andes. It was domesticated around 7,000 years ago for livestock use, but people also … Continue reading Indian quinoa in Mongolia? USDA Organic, even.
One of the things I knew about Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, before we moved here was that it has the distinction of being the coldest capital city in the world. It has an average annual temperature of -0.4° C (31.3° F). I’ve lived in San Diego, California, for most of the last 18 years, so I wasn’t … Continue reading Keeping cool in Ulaanbaatar