The Chinggas Factor

The Mongolians and I have some things in common...
Their enemies to the south (the Chinese) built a wall (the Great Wall) to keep them out... where as our equivalent (Hadrians Wall) is rather less impressive.

Why bring this up? This summer I took part in an expedition to Mongolia and China with UK Network, and this week at COLDnet I was trying to pass on some of the experiences that I had. I started with the somewhat traditional slideshow of photographs, trying to keep it from being yet another boring slideshow of someone elses holiday.

Thats where the usual stuff ended. After the slideshow I got out some pens and paper and got everyone to try and write their names in Mongolian script... which can look beautiful when done properly and look like a five year old has done a squiggly line with a crayon when a networker does it.

I also got them to try some Mongolian cooking, making cabbage, potatoe and mutton (ok, lamb...) Khuushuur. Everyone seamed to like the food, although not everyone got the hang of sealing up the Khuushuur so that they wouldn't leak into the pan!

*I'll post some photos soon*


Who would have thought that the Fire Service would prove to be such a cornucopia of hilarious comments from the scouts.

Actually... I'll get to that. First things first. Minty had done the honours of organising this trip to the Fire Service, a task that is not as straight forward as you would think. He ended up having to apply in writing over a month in advance, we got a written confirmation that they would take us and that they would cover the requirements for the fire safety badge that we had sent them.
This of course didn't necessarily mean that the message that we were coming got passed on to the guys on shift that night.

Fireman: Can I help you?
Minty: We're here for the scout visit
Fireman: errr.... what scout visit? Give us a minute...

The poor man. Not only did he have to take a group of kids round the station, but he had to do it with zero notice and nothing prepared!

He started off with the usual introductions, describing some of the things that they do and showing them the fire suits that they wear (seeing that they were right behind him). All this to then get interrupted with
sprogette: Were are the fit firemen?
Which must have made him feel so good.

Mind you the really gold was still to come. One of the best questions had to be when he was talking about the hoses that they have on the Fire Appliances, and that different sections fit into each other and lock together...
innocent sprogette: Whats the difference between the male and female hoses?
Needless to say the fireman gave us this "help me" look, us leaders were at the back trying not to giggle (with varying amounts of success), he said something vague about one fitting into the other and then quickly moved them round the corner to the pump controls.

Not that this was the only funny comment or question that the kids come out with during the visit. After going round the appliances we were taken to the break room for a little question and answer session.

"Can you set fire to your own car?"
"Why do you wear two tops?" (he had a t-shirt on under his shirt)
"Do the dorm rooms upstairs have there own little TV and kitchen each?" (we were in the room with the kitchen and TV at the time)
"Can I play with your nee naw?"

To his credit he actually did a very good job at dealing with all these (rather random) questions. He apologised to us saying that if they had known that we were coming then they would have set up more for them... so we are going to look into getting one of them down to the hall to finish off the requirements for the badge. But this also had the immediate effect of us finishing at the station just over an hour before the kids were due to be picked up.

Plan B not only had to be put into action... but had to be devised.

We managed to get them all back to the scout hall to run some games until there folks arrived, all of whom had to be called so that they would know to come to the scout hall rather than the fire station. And why is there always one parent who is incontactable when you need them! We ended up driving one of them back to the fire station to get picked up.

Overall, it was a good night. The kids all enjoyed it and the fire station did extremely well... especially when you consider that the guys involved had zero notice!


I have figured out a way to get resources to you all!

YAY (and the villagers rejoiced)

I've created a google website where I will post resources that I have used or created. (If I haved made them then I will say where I got it from)

I've put some stuff there from previous posts... so feel free to have a look at it

BOOM *evil laugh*

wha ha ha ha <=evil laughter

Welcome mere mortals.... to network...

The plan for our Halloween/Guy Fawkes night had been to invite the older Explorers down to join us so that they could get to know us. Due to the invitation going out late, my own fault, we only got two (GIs sister and one of her friends). But hey, its better than none!

We started off the night by carving melons, which is so much easier to hollow out than pumpkins (or the traditional turnips that I had to carve when I was a scout- talk about your spoon bending, Uri Geller had nothing on us). Buffy and I made a decent attempt, but it was Gav and Lornas 'lovechild' Ernest that stole the show.

Ernest shortly after being 'delivered', thankfully there was a nurse on hand

*news flash* Ernest, after spending over a week in intensive care in Lornas fridge has sadly kicked the bucket (or at least the bin). It is also recorded that altho he was given visitation rights, the father never saw young Ernest again after his birth... some say Ernest died of a broken heart (he certainly had a gooey centre anyway)

Aww look... sharing

ok... maybe there is such a thing as sharing too much

We played some more of the traditional halloween games... hanging doughnuts, marshmallows in flour, fluffy bunnies etc before we had a surprise visit. Cabbage, Steve and Pual all came down to present us with our Rabbit Run trophey; newly engraved with COLDnet 2009

And now that the scouts in the other hall had finally left it was time for the fireworks, which generally doesn't need much commentery other than