2016 Campaign Update 8
It’s about time you met Binderiya Munkhbat. The list of things that would not have happened without her includes more than half our workshops, almost all our museum tours, understanding and being understood by our drivers, museum directors, politicians, crowds and waiters, not to mention the joy she has brought us every day just by being herself: ultra-reliable, thoughtful and always ready to smile. We couldn’t bear to let her go and we’re thrilled to announce that she’s agreed to keep working with us for the next twelve months from here in UB, translating and developing educational programs.
Binderiya studied Public Administration in Ulaanbaatar at the University of Computer Science and Management and she’s been working as a volunteer for Mongolia’s only 4H chapter since April 2011. She got into museum work in 2014 after a chance encounter at the National Museum of Mongolia, where she volunteered as a museum educator and program developer for eight months. Her manager there recommended her to us as an exhibit interpreter last year, and she was at the top of our list for this year. When I interviewed her for this profile, she expressed a long-term desire to help improve Mongolia’s education system and to make museums here “more alive.” We’re convinced she’ll succeed.
On the subject of success, you probably want to know how our workshops in Mandalgovi went. The school we collaborated with there was new, well-lit and very well-organized. I have to say it was a better school than a few I went to in the US, and the kids even knew a bit about dinosaurs already. In fact for one workshop, Binderiya had to switch to a more advanced lesson because the kids already knew everything from the one for their age group–including the fact that birds are dinosaurs!
We also held a full day of Moveable Museum tours and I was surprised and thrilled to see Gana interpreting the exhibits for the kids! He and Gamba both learned a lot from Binderiya on this trip and jumped in to volunteer while Binderiya was hosting workshops. Since we returned to UB, Gana has moved on to his next driving job, but we’ll stay in touch and hope to hire him again next year.
Mandalgovi has its own permanent museum, with cultural and natural history collections on display, which we got to enjoy the morning before we left. I’m pleased to be able to share some of it with you.
So we said goodbye to the Gobi, and hello to our last week in Mongolia, which I’ll share with you in the next update.