Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mongolia is Still Cold

This morning began with a snow, sleet, and freezing rain storm. Mongolia remains cold even in late May. It was actually 75 degrees and sunny last Sunday, which demonstrates how variable spring weather in Mongolia can be. Prepare well for your trip here this summer. The photo shows some of the snow that fell this morning in the late spring shower.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stage Play - Children's Park

Children's Park
a new play by Michael Littig (Fulbright Scholar in Drama)
A Charity Fundraiser for VoiceBox

Date: Friday May 30th and Saturday May 31st
Place: Khan Bank Theatre (Seoul Street 25)
Time: 8:00 PM
Cost: 6,000 Tugriks

Set in a surreal landscape, Children's Park follows the story of Benny
and Ella as they discover what it means to be foreign.

"It's a place that's both near and distant at the same time.
Like the course of a boat across a lake.
Like the relations between a man and a woman.
Like paradise."
-Children's Park

With: Gabrielle Brady, Michael Littig, and Amraa
Music by: James Tallant
Design by: Todd Forsgren

Children's Park will run for 60 minutes without an intermission.

*Adult situations and language. PG-13 material*

Friday, May 16, 2008

Internships in Mongolia

Interested in doing an internship in Mongolia? More and more organizations are awakening to the idea of offering internships to undergraduate and graduate students. The Asia Foundation, for example, has offered internships working on their responsible mining initiative for the last two years. The World Bank also offers an internship program in its Ulaanbaatar office. As the ACMS gets wind of these internship opportunities, we generally post them to the announcements section of our main website.

The ACMS, too, has developed an internship program. Since 2007 the center has hosted 5 interns who have worked on improving accessibility to information about Mongolia. These interns have worked on compiling and organizing information resources in a variety of topics, from health education to the Mongol Empire in the Middle East. Given the practical constraint of geography, not all the interns have actually worked out the ACMS office. Currently one intern works from Khovd Province, and this summer the center will work with an intern from Wisconsin. The ACMS is a fairly hip organization, so we are taking advantage of the tremendous power of the internet to harness the passion and energy of young scholars no matter where they may live.

Those interested in learning more about the internship program should check the internship page on our main website.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mongolian Elections

Parliamentary elections will be held June 29th in Mongolia. The campaigning has already begun, although I am under the impression this is about two weeks before the legal starting date. I suppose there is a fine line between marketing oneself and campaigning for office, but the literature I have been receiving at my apartment over the last week from the candidates in my district are not really walking that fine line.

I was in Mongolia for the 2004 elections, and it was quite a display of democracy at work--not least of all the fact that the ruling party lost its 72-4 seat domination in Parliament in spite predictions from many pundits (i.e. ex-pats at Millie's Cafe) that Mongolia was once again edging towards one party rule. Rumors on the street seem to indicate that no party feels secure this election either, and many of the seats are toss-ups. If you are a political scientist, this is the place to study what happens when nascent democratic values meet the politics of hard reality and a skeptical electorate. Completely fascinating if you are political junkie.

Outbreak of foot, hand, and mouth disease in Mongolia

An outbreak of foot, hand, and mouth disease in China has now spread to Mongolia. Kindergartens and other places serving small children have been closed for the week as a precaution against further spreading of the disease. More information about the disease is at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-05/11/content_6675929.htm.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Computer Upgrade and Extended Hours

The ACMS will upgrade its computers this month using a grant from the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAOR) and the Smithsonian Institute. The center will purchase 6 new computers and upgrade the software on 7 computers already in use.

The Center will also have extended hours until the end of the school year (about mid-June). The center will be open from 8am-7pm, Monday-Friday.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Did you know Mongolia is cold?

Just in case you haven't heard, Mongolia is a fairly cold place. Forget about the fact that it dips down to -40 in the winter. That happens lots of places. It's the snow showers in May that really give Mongolia claim to being a cold place. The picture to the left is from my apartment on May 2nd. That is snow, and it is falling heavily. Yet, that really is nothing. The latest I have experienced snow in Mongolia is the first week of June, but I have heard of snow fall in July and August in some parts of the country.

Spring is a difficult season in Mongolia because the weather changes so dramatically from day-to-day. For example, yesterday started out warm and ended with a sandstorm. This morning started out with snow and is ending cold and clear. Tomorrow it will probably be warm again. So it goes in Mongolia...