Getting Here & Free Day

36 hours of travel later, and we’re here!

3 flights and one van ride later and we arrived at our hotel! We got through the 15 hour flight with only a little bit of a crying baby soundtrack and a touch of cabin fever. The plane entertainment was well stocked with movies and tv shows as well as a landscape camera with views from the perspective of the front and belly of the plane. The food was also really neat! Lindsay and Sarah’s favorite  meal was korean bibimbap with seaweed soup.

After arriving to the hotel late Saturday we all parted ways to settle in and recover from the day of travel. Sunday morning we gathered for a breakfast buffet that included American, Chinese, and traditional Mongolian foods. (Think noodles with your eggs! Yummmm) And then we were off! Rita, David, and Luke met us for a tour around Ulaanbaatar.

Our first stop was the Zaisan Memorial. Its a circular painting that honors Soviet soldiers killed in WWII and depicts scenes of friendship between the people of the USSE and Mongolia. After we climbed 300 steps (no I didn’t count, thanks wiki!) we were rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. After taking in the mural, we spotted an Ovoo set behind the memorial. According to tradition, when travelling, it is custom to stop and circle an ovoo three times in clockwise direction, in order to have a safer journey. Usually, rocks are picked up from the ground and added to the pile. It’s also customary to think about/pray/remember someone special to you.

Next up was a visit to the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan. Built between 1893 and 1903, this palace is where Mongolia’s eighth Living Buddha, and last king, Jebtzun Damba Hutagt VIII (often called the Bogd Khan), lived for 20 years. This palace is the only one to survive the revolution. We toured all six temples on the grounds and the main palace. Each room offered more amazing and intricate trinkets, jewelry, clothes and religious items. There was an ornate winter fur coat for the king that weighed over 80 pounds. I was also extremely impressed by the pair of wooden beds (with the most amazing hand carved details) that belonged to the king and queen that were kept together by interlocking joints, no nails or other hardware!

After taking in all the information from the palace, it was time for food! There was pho, dumpling soup, huushuur (meat pies) and all sorts of other goodies.

Once we had happy bellies, we made our way to the Gandantegchinlen Monastery. It’s name translates to “Great Place of Complete Joy”. One of the most magnificent experiences was seeing the statue of Avalokiteśvara which stands as a symbol that embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. At 26.5 meters, it is the tallest indoor statue in the hemisphere.

After this, we spent some time in the main square taking in some people watching. Then we walked back to our hotel and wandered in and out of some shops on the way. So many goodies! With such a full day, some of us (Sarah & Lindsay) slept right through dinner after taking what was supposed to be “just a nap”.

That’s all for now! Tomorrow is our first day at the hospital and we’re all excited to meet the staff and kids!

-SB

bibimbap

bibimbap

yay dinner!

yay dinner!

studying up during our layover

studying up during our layover

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Lindsay catching 20 minutes of quality, nose smooshing, sleep.

Lindsay catching 20 minutes of quality, nose smooshing, sleep.

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made it to the hotel!

made it to the hotel!

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Accidental selfie from Dr. Sandler.

Accidental selfie from Dr. Sandler.

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note the thumbs, must be a doctor thing 😉

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view from the memorial

view from the memorial

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tag you're it!

tag you’re it!

Ovoo

Ovoo

our chariot

our chariot

Winter Palace

Winter Palace

lunch necessities

lunch necessities

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don't feed the birds!

don’t feed the birds!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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rent-a-car for kiddies!

rent-a-car for kiddies!

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love locks in UB

love locks in UB

 

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3 Comments

  1. Edie Brooks

     /  September 7, 2015

    Great journaling!!! Love the pictures! My favorites are the kid literally in the air in “tag you’re it” and the camel.

    Question… Is the camel real or a mural???

    Reply
    • Hey ma! It’s a mural of a camel, but so realistic right?! And yes! That was a lucky snap of the camera to get the photo of Dr. Sandler and David.
      Love ya! -Sarah

      Reply
  2. Terry

     /  September 7, 2015

    Glad your team safely arrived. Looking forward to reading your journey. Happy Labor Day from Jacksonville by way of Oakland California.

    Terry
    Baptist South OR

    Reply

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