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Dear All, We have been in Mongolia for the last three days and enjoying the warm air, blue sky and the talks and discussions with local academics and business people.
Yesterday, after our lectures and meeting with the Australian Ambassador to Mongolia, we went to visit the Bogd Khan museum (Bogd Khan was the last Buddhist leader who proclaimed Mongolian independence in 1911). The museum complex used to be his residence which was built at the turn of the 20th century (above is a photo of the gate – the 'Peace Gate', a work by over 200 artists from all over Mongol lands to symbolize the unification of Mongols).
We usually start the day with a Mongolian language lesson followed by lectures and meetings und our program runs until about 6:30-7pm. Today for example, we had meetings with the Deputy Director of the biggest Mongolian online news agency, the Director of Institute for History and Archaeology (Mongolian Academy of Sciences) and the Manager of the Agricultural University.
Our students have been very engaging. Unlike boring academics like Jack and myself, students have been also exploring the local pubs in the evening and have been trying to use the Mongolian words and expressions that they learned during the day whenever possible.
The National University of Mongolia, our host, has been wonderful and provided us with class rooms. Tuul, our language lecturer who has also been working with us to set up the online Mongolian language courses, has been a wonderful help for us.
Tomorrow we will be visiting the Bagnuur coal mine outside Ulaanbaatar. It will be another long and intensive day.
Best wishes from warm and dry Ulaanbaatar. Nara