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Big hearts under a Mongolian Big Top

Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting Darkhan, Mongolia’s Shonhoodoi Circus School. This fall, the International Women’s Association of Mongolia (IWAM) was preparing for its winter jacket drive and asked if I could help find some children who might best benefit from the donated winter jackets they’d be collecting. The director of Darkhan Elite 22, the school where I teach English part-time, suggested the Shonhoodoi Circus School and provided a list of names and the ages of the students there. When the jackets were gathered, washed and ready for distribution, the women of IWAM drove up to Darkhan from Ulaanbaatar to deliver them. Before the hand-over happened, we got a sneak preview of the circus performances that the...

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Mongolian Street Skating

A little sweeter than your average skate video, this brand new short film by Uukhai, a Mongolian skateboarding association, sheds an intimate, honest and unpretentious light on a burgeoning community in Ulaanbaatar. The video features interviews with skaters involved with the organization, and tons of footage of street skating shot this summer. This look at a blossoming scene is the perfect inspiration for the jaded. Their old school is young, and they are devoted to bringing up brand new skaters. It’s also become a focal point for expatriates and repatriates. Take nothing for granted, certainly not your pristine sidewalks! Uukhai is working to raise funds to provide young skaters with decks, components, and eventually an indoor skatepark. Support from abroad...

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Mongolian Street Skating

A little sweeter than your average skate video, this brand new short film by Uukhai, a Mongolian skateboarding association, sheds an intimate, honest and unpretentious light on a burgeoning community in Ulaanbaatar. The video features interviews with skaters involved with the organization, and tons of footage of street skating shot this summer. This look at a blossoming scene is the perfect inspiration for the jaded. Their old school is young, and they are devoted to bringing up brand new skaters. It’s also become a focal point for expatriates and repatriates. Take nothing for granted, certainly not your pristine sidewalks! Uukhai is working to raise funds to provide young skaters with decks, components, and eventually an indoor skatepark. Support from abroad...

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Playtime Festival 2013

  The Playtime Live Music Festival took place last weekend, and I was clever enough to make sure I went to at least one of its two days. My husband (a music festival virgin) and I, drove down to Ulaanbaatar from Darkhan, and camped out for Saturday’s bands. What I learned: The Mongolian music scene is amazing. This was the twelfth year of the annual music festival, and according to one friend who’s been attending on and off for over a decade, it keeps getting bigger and better. The bands are getting better, the festival organizers are running things with more efficiency, security is more civilized, and less fights break out. What I love is that it’s organized by music...

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Playtime Festival 2013

  The Playtime Live Music Festival took place last weekend, and I was clever enough to make sure I went to at least one of its two days. My husband (a music festival virgin) and I, drove down to Ulaanbaatar from Darkhan, and camped out for Saturday’s bands. What I learned: The Mongolian music scene is amazing. This was the twelfth year of the annual music festival, and according to one friend who’s been attending on and off for over a decade, it keeps getting bigger and better. The bands are getting better, the festival organizers are running things with more efficiency, security is more civilized, and less fights break out. What I love is that it’s organized by music...

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