ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA – Starting tonight at 24:00 clock, Peace Avenue will be closed in portions for construction from West 4-way intersection (baruun durvun zam) to East 4-way intersection (zuun durvun zam). The purpose of the construction project is to expand Peace Avenue and to add underground pedestrian crossing in an area near a hospital named “Iontsei”.
The first part of the project will involve section of Peace Avenue from West 4-way to State Department store and will take roughly 15 days to complete. The section of the road from Mongolian State University of Education to the Wrestlers Palace is expected to take 28 days to complete.
FYI: Peace Avenue is the main road connecting Ulaanbaatar and is the longest stretch of road in the city. It runs West to East.
On Wednesday July 29, 2009, Tim Cope gave a presentation at Cafe Amsterdam in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on his horseback trekking adventure across the steppes and grasslands of Mongolia to Hungary. Tim spoke of the challenges and issues he faced while traveling during zud (extreme cold winter) and deserts (up to 50C high) from Mongolia through Kazakhtsan, Russia, and Ukraine on the way to Hungary following in the footsteps of Chinggis Khaan, the correct spelling of Genghis Khan.
Here are some highlights of interesting notes and things of which he spoke.
Lately, it has been raining nearly every day here in Mongolia. And, it has been pouring.
Throughout history, Mongolians are known to have worshiped the eternal blue sky during times of the great Chinggis Khaan (often known as Genghis Khan) and before/after that. Maybe we have maddened the skies, but it has been opened as it’s just been pouring.
The rains of July 17, 2009
This rain was highly destructive. 29 people died from the ensuing floods. Eleven were from Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. More than 130 families have been displaced from their homes as their gers (traditional Mongolian yurts) were washed away in the floods.
This was a very sad day, but I hope we, Mongolians, will learn from this. I hope we will learn to respect our mother nature and re-learn and re-live at least some of our past traditions. I hope we will not be cutting down trees so much. If we do, at least plant trees for every tree cut. It seems that the international industry wide practice that is used in the lumber and wood industry worldwide is to plant two baby trees per every tree cut. I hope that we will not be throwing all of our trash everywhere. I hope that we will respect our waters and rivers and do our best to keep them clean and running freely. I hope that we will not be building our gers and homes in the flood plains or near the river basin.
There also was another damage that I should mention: the collapsed bridge in Zaisan.
On Fourth of July, 2009, America’s 233rd Independence Day celebration took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The event took place at the Star Apartments in the Embassy district from noon to 4pm and was open to Americans and locals alike. The cover was 7,000 tugrugs (aka tugriks), which equate to about five US dollars. Locals and non-Americans also had to have an American friend or acquintance in order to enter and enjoy the American Independence Day celebrations. The cover included two drinks and a fair-style menu that consisted of bratwurst or burger with side potato salad and pork ‘n beans. There were heavy dose of security around the perimeter.
Shortly after purchasing the ticket and walking in with an American friend (if you/visitor were not an American) and navigating through the secure pathway to enter the mini park / community lawn of the Star Apartments, the visitor was greeted with an “All-American” muscle car that is the Carol Shelby Ford Mustang. I must say that it did look quite nice.
Airmarket, an airline flight ticket booking agency in Mongolia, opened a new location today in the country’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (UB). The new location sits right across from State Department store on the south side of Peace Avenue. I ran across the grand opening on the way to work this morning at around 9am. Here are some photos of the grand opening.
What: A photography exhibition about Mongolia taken by an American over the past two years. A silent auction of the artwork will benefit local charity organizations. (I should note somewhere that there were some very tasty airag, aaruul, and unexpectedly good Mongolian cheese at the opening ceremony)
Who: Chris DeBruyn, Photographer/Peace Corps Volunteer
Where: Xanadu Art Gallery, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
When: June 18, 6 p.m. (Opening Event) – June 23 (Closing day)
Price: free entry