Out of the Mine
I’m reaching all of you this afternoon from the wireless internet in the human resources department of Energy Resources: the Mongolian company that is in charge of the mining operation out here in the South Gobi. They were at our school this morning to oversee the opening of their charitable gift to our school–a brand new set of 25 computers all loaded up with DynEd English Language Software. They’ve also seen fit to partner us with a specialized English Language private school in UB called The Orchlon School, and we’re all working on a project together to update my school’s current foreign language curriculum. It’s a pretty massive undertaking, but it’s also an extremely exciting project to be a part of. I’m watching the transformation of this soum and this secondary school from how “it’s been done” to “how it will be done.”
The facilities at this mining company are pretty magnificent. The camp is complete with comfortable housing for workers and is essentially completely self-reliant with a gym, dining rooms, a small cafe that serves cappucino, and TV rooms. They even have hot running water–all of these amenities hiding out on the edge of my little soum. It was here all along, I just didn’t know about it.
My invitation to tour out here has been a great opportunity for me to get to know a major player in the development of my town. Community outreach by the company is robust and (in the case of the school) extremely helpful. The director of their community outreach program has asked me to teach a voluntary English class to their employees once a week and I plan to accept. They’ve offered to send a car for me in the evening before the lesson and then dinner in their cafe afterward as part of the package! I’m not sure what to do with all this luxury, but I imagine somehow I’ll get used to it. I’m slightly daunted by all of this, but I think it could be a great opportunity to make an invaluable connection with “the money” around town. That would be extremely helpful in the future as I try to get my own development projects started here–the folks mine would not be a bad group to have on my side.
Hope all is well on your end. Things here are splendid.
All my best,