This is a home under the stairs as you enter our apartment building. (Think of Harry Potter!) There is a man who lives here. He takes out all the trash. (You put your trash outside your door.) He scrubs the stairs and the landings. He sweeps the walks and weeds the little flower areas. In the winter he sweeps the snow off the walk in front of our building. For these sevices he gets to live under the stairs.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We bought this nativity from a local carver that was recommended by one of the other couples. It is very Mongolian. In fact they carve this set minus the stable and sell it as a traveling family. The baby Jesus fits between the humps of the camel and that is how nomadic Mongolian families carry their babies. Little babies here are bundled really tightly. All you can see are their eyes. They don't use diapers. They have lots of blankets and just change the blankets.
Our living room. The window at the back opens onto a small deck. Sort of scary deck but we open the windows for air. The heat has been turned on by the city and there are no individual thermostats therefore no way to regualte the temperature. We open windows to get some relief until the smoke gets too thick. The people in the "ger" (means home in Mongolian) district use coal and wood to heat their homes and we get the residue. We understand it gets worse as the winter gets colder.
Bathroom/laundry. The tub is an old fashioned tub with the high sides. You have to be fairly agile to get in and out. The light above the sink fell down the second day we were here. It was tpaed on with double stick tape. (the walls are cement). I am fortunate to have an automatic washer. Some of the apartments have a washer with two sections, one to wash and another to spin. Our only trick is we have to plug in the washer on the opposite wall which leaves a cord hanging when you are washing. The toilet has a button on the top that flushes.
This is the kitchen. There is a counter about 2 feet long between the stove and the sink. That is the work space. Doing dishes is an experience. You wash them in hot (the water that comes out of the tap is REALLY hot) water and soap. Then you boil water and rinse them in that. I am glad I brought a pair of rubber gloves. The stove works well only you can't use the stove top and the oven at the same time. There is a small refrigerator by the radiator and shelf for the pantry. The microwave is on top of the fridge.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
This is our bedroom. It has a beautiful wardrobe and dressing table. The bed is ok. But I do miss our bed at home.
The picture on the right is the office.. It has a bed because the sister who lived here before fell and broke her arm so she needed a place seperate from the master bedroom. Our internet service was "direct wired" into this room, meaning they brought a wire through the window for the internt.
This is our apartment. We are on the third floor. We get our exercise going up and down and then walking to the Church building. You take your life in your hands when you cross the street. Pedestrians have no rights. There are no lights. You cross whenever there is a break in the traffic and you wait on the center line until another break in the traffic. Scary.
For our last days at the MTC we worked on language with Elder Mortensen. We learned so much in a very short time. On the last day we had to bare our testimonies. We hadn't worked on that part of the language at all. All the senior couples that were going on a foreign mission gave their testimonies. Most of them did it without a paper and did very well. Elder Ford got up and said, "We just got our testimonies today." Everyone laughed. We learned the words the hour before the meeting.