3Nations: Temple Project

It's kind of suiting that I am running behind with the 3Nations posts (previous posts can be found on the expedition page)... given that I have a note in my handwritten diary:

"Right- am going to admit that I am very behind on the diary... So I am going to keep this short and sweet until I catch up"

Friday 24th July 2009

Given our rather late and drunken night out in Ulaanbaatar last night, what we wanted was a lie in, something fried for breakfast and something caffeinated to drink. What we got was an early wake up call to get bussed to Zuunmod for our second community project.

Manual labour isn't exactly high on my list of hangover cures!

Manual labour + hangover = ooo, this is going to be difficult

But never mind, this was one of the activities that I was really looking forward to, one where we would get to make a difference.

Our task was to paint the roof of the temple, while the normal services were ongoing in side, so we had to try and keep the noise down a bit.

Those bits on the underside of the roof were rather footery, lots of different colours involved.
The instructions for painting, like the Scout Project, were rather basic... a combination of pointing at pots of paint, pointing at surfaces and use of the word "paint". Oh, and pointing at the little ladder they had brought out for us to climb to get up onto the roof.

You ever heard of that cat on the hot tin roof?

Well, I feel for that cat... it was a blazing hot day in Zuunmod. 

Manual labour + blazing heat from sun + reflected heat from tin roof + hangover = ooo, I'm starting to get a little light headed

See how one of the Mongolians is wearing a mask? That's cause of the fumes from the paint...

... it was very very strong


I'm still not convinced that it wasn't some soviet lead based car paint or something.

Manual labour + blazing sun + burning roof + possibly toxic paint fumes + hangover = ooo... look it! puuuurty colours.... 

We all got covered in paint... see, you can actually see me trying to remove some with methylated spirits.

Mind you, we didn't get as much on us as the little local boy who came up onto the roof to give us a hand, it had got difficult to tell where was wet paint and where was dry... he slipped on the wet paint and managed to get a bright yellow back.

After we had finished our work in the morning we had our packed lunches, played a little basketball with the apprentice monks before getting directed to the local public showers. A lot of Mongolia is under canvas, in gers, so people don't always have their own showers... so there were public showers (just like we would get public toilets in the city centre).

It was an absolute joy to have something as simple as properly clean hair.

After our showers, we were to walk back to the campsite, before having a nice relaxing evening (and crashing!)

Thanks for those that let me use photos, I think I didn't have my camera with me this day.