Möngöntsetseg


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990908
Name: Möngöntsetseg
Parent's name: Natsagdorj
Ovog: [blank]
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1959
Ethnicity: [unknown]

Additional Information
Education: [unknown]
Notes on education:
Work:
Belief:
Born in: sum, Ulaanbaatar aimag
Lives in: sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession:
Father's profession:


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Translation:



The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia

Byambajav -

Well, before starting the interview would you please introduce yourselves, and tell me what particular job you do in this organization, and each of you tell briefly about your job.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yeah.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Okay

Möngöntsetseg -

Well, I am Munguntsetseg, the secretary of this Asral NGO. Mm, so we’ll go like this, yes, Otgoo is

Otgonchimeg -

Aa, it is me Otgonchimeg, Aa, with a salary of the Coordinator of this “Tuslamj” [Assistance, support] project.

Tsevlee -

I am Tevlee. I am the cook of this centre...

Badamgerel -

Well, I am Badamgerel, teacher of tailoring (sewing) training.

Byambajav -

Shall we talk about this organization, about the activities of the organization? Would you speak about it?

Unknown -

Aa haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

We started our activities even before coming to this house. Teacher…

Byambajav -

Ah, right.

Möngöntsetseg -

I started by myself, on my own, for example, there is an international humanitarian organization called “Adra”. In cooperation with that organization I did this very thing, distributed rice, flour, butter, sunflower oil, soup, clothes. Aa, then in Gachuurt our teacher himself went there, gathered old women… the aged ones, had them pass medical examination free of charge, brought from here medicine distributed the necessary drugs and injections, so we progressed little by little and started giving lessons at Lamrim (on path to enlightenment), we hold our lectures in a hall, then the hall was too small, so out of necessity we had to move to this building, to this place, this house.

Byambajav -

Aa haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

We needed it, there was the requirement for it. So we got the land and built this house, it was given for exploitation on 22 October 2004...

(Speaker Unclear) -

Wasn’t it in three years?

(Speaker Unclear) -

Was it four or three?

(Speaker Unclear) -

It was in three.

(Speaker Unclear) -

In October

(Speaker Unclear) -

Third year.

(Speaker Unclear) -

On October 22 of the third year.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Third year

(Speaker Unclear) -

It was the third year.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Third year of…

(Speaker Unclear) -

On October 22 of the third year (0-02-32)

Möngöntsetseg -

Aa, when the state commission received (accepted for exploitation) and when we came here Badammgerel, myself, Otgoo, then Bilgee, Erdenebileg were the first ones. Since we can not hire and give salary to many people, we, ourselves, managed somehow to do everything. If our…teacher was not here, we spent the night here, were on duty and acted as the watchman, we cleaned (the premise) ourselves. After moving to this place, after we had our own house, we expanded our activities slightly and started at that time a certain age limit was set for women to work, it was hard to find a job and along with it their livelihood was worsening, so we thought how to improve standards of living of women residing in the vicinity. Then we stared from that very year this project of “Tailoring”, isn’t it? So we organized a free of charge course on tailoring here. When you speak tailoring, it has a very wide meaning. So…

Byambajav -

Aa haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

We can not make European suits better than the Europeans. Yes, it is. Therefore, in the first place to preserve our traditional handicraft, traditional culture and heritage, secondly, to inherit this culture, yes aa to develop further, to sell to foreigners and promote it, in a sense this (traditional art) is something that is never old and will remain eternally so. Aa, then all you need is fabrics and threads and it would not require… that much initial investment. Taking into account this aspect we started with this (tailoring) Then our own Badamgerel works as the teacher. Badamgerel will give more details, first how many started to attend.

Byambajav -

Yes, except the sewing factory (shop), tell me about your colleagues.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes..

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes, it was proposed to implement a tailoring project, Otgonchimeg used to sew leather jackets, so since Otgoo was working on sewing we decided to work together so Otgoo and myself…

Otgonchimeg -

We cooperated on that.

Badamgerel -

Started it (the project). When we stared our work no student came to us, there were no students.

Otgonchimeg -

We had to find students ourselves.

Badamgerel -

Yes, we went in search of students and brought a number of them ourselves. Yes, we did.

Otgonchimeg -

We visited ails (households).

Badamgerel -

Yes, then, the people were not interested (in our project).

Otgonchimeg -

Lazy

Badamgerel. -

Lazy, extremely lazy. (0-05-30) .

At the same time they were living in such gers, we saw it by our own eyes, yes.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes.

(Speaker Unclear) -

We all went around [to recruit students]..

(Speaker Unclear) -

The people’s life was very hard.

Badamgerel -

Life was very hard. 7 or 8 people were living in a wooden cabin (shack) in a small room full of sun and moonlight (open here and there). So we brought one person with us asked him to sew for us, said we’ll give you a sewing machine after you finish the sewing course. But he did not attend the course. So we went ourselves to explain and promote (the project) we had advertisement at the well

(Speaker Unclear) -

At the wells

(Speaker Unclear) -

We walked around the districts, actually we walked everywhere.

(Speaker Unclear) -

We have been everywhere.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes.

(Speaker Unclear) -

At later stage we would find and bring poor people about our age, whom we happen to know.

Badamgerel -

Yes, we even had to ask our friends. Please attend our tailoring course. Let the others understand how beneficial it is. Ha ha. Then the course is free of charge.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Then you had a luncheon for 200 tugrugs.

(Speaker Unclear) -

We gave 500 tugrugs (for lunch).

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

We gave simply 500 tugrugs that was all. So we started our training. The first group consisted of 4-5 persons.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, we had 4 persons. There was a man among them.

Badamgerel -

Yes. A boy called Bodonchar was attending the course. Then if we were to compare the present with that period when we just started our first lesson, we have gained substantial experience.

Otgonchimeg -

Then, the people in first group were very good kind people, weren’t they..

(Speaker Unclear) -

There were many problems such as not finding a common understanding.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

We were a pitiable lot who could not find the right way to proceed, so we read various books (to find the answer).

Badamgerel -

Since I was not a teacher, had no knowledge of teaching methods, did not know how to explain to the students and let them understand. I tried to show them it was done this way and showed them how sew in various ways (0-07-15) Sew in many different ways.

Otgonchimeg -

We brought various clothes and tore it along the seam and studied how it was tailored and tried to sew that way.

Badamgerel -

Yes......... (0-07-20) it was very interesting.

Otgonchimeg -

We tried various things… even the bandage around the stomach.

Badamgerel -

Once I was walking outside, visiting shops and saw a very beautiful pouch for snuff bottle in a shop. I saw its sewing, looked at it carefully and was wondering what kind of sewing (needlework) it was. I do not recognize that method of sewing. Then one day my teacher, Munguu and me came (0-07-48) to that shop and I showed the two (the pouch) and bought it for 15000. So after returning I tore it open, I was terribly courageous (0-07-48), saw how it was sewed, studied and made some (pouch like that) for sale and learned to do the needle work like that. But I still did not know the name of type of needle work or embroidery. Then later in order to improve my skill and education I attended a course. It was there that I came to know that type of needle work was called a relief embroidery (хөөмөлтэй зүүн ороолт), so we had a very funny time. In general, if there is the aspiration even if you don’t know something but want others to learn about it then eventually you yourself learn how to make it. It doesn’t take long time. So…

Otgonchimeg -

Thanks to the members of the first group who personally became promoters and told to few people how the training was done, we ourselves again started the search for new trainees, went to various places, as a result now our work is running more or less smoothly.

Badamgerel -

Since it was for the first time, as the centre was being founded we had encountered numerous difficulties, we did not know how to run (the course), we even could not organise our schedules.

Otgonchimeg -

Aa haan.

Badamgerel -

At first the training course ran for 30 or more than 20 days. Then after finishing one course we had to wait for a few days for the new course to start and eventually finish, so we discussed among ourselves and run the course without any interruption if someone comes today he was registered and in 35 days he or she would finish, if someone comes a day after he was also registered thus we enrolled those who wanted to study without any interruption.

Otgonchimeg -

It was constant.

Badamgerel -

So it worked continuously and things became very nice. Now, we are in much better situation than we were just starting.

Byambajav -

How many students do have?

Badamgerel -

Now the number has reached 87 or 8.

Byambajav -

Aan, right.

Badamgerel -

So 87, 8 people finished the course.

Byambajav -

Exactly how many people are in constant touch with you?

Badamgerel -

Now about ten persons keep constant touch with us. They steadily manufacture their products and benefit from the activities of our organization. They are the ones who had become aware of the advantage of this organization. They receive certificates from us and sew their products.

Otgonchimeg -

They also get employment elsewhere. The most important goal of them is to increase their income so they work along this line. They usually attend our training course in order to increase their income, and while engaged in their usual job, during their spare time work (sew) thus increasing their earning, (what they have learned here) had been extremely valuable to them. They sew and what they have been able to produce they sell over the counter, which is really the fruits of their completing our training courses.

Möngöntsetseg -

So they made tailoring themselves. (0-10-17)

Badamgerel -

They are implementing (the project).

Byambajav -

This, in any case, had a direct impact on people’s livelihood.

Otgonchimeg -

It had. At least they can sew for themselves. They can sew for their parents, for their friends and also make traditional national art items. Then during their free time they put these items for sale in shop, there are many who had done various items (for this purpose).

Badamgerel -

The methods of sewing (embroidering) we teach here have become very beautiful lately, if we compare them with items put for sale in other shops what we have done is different. (0-10-39)

Otgonchimeg -

The hems and some other parts are slightly different.

Badamgerel -

The most important is that… do you remember that Dorj or what was his name.

Otgonchimeg -

Nyambuu.

Badamgerel -

Dorjnyambuu learned here (how to sew), he brought us what he had made, and spending the money he got for that for his medical treatment.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

He is earning money for his medical treatment. Enkhbold is paying his tuition fee.

Otgonchimeg -

He is paying his tuition fee.

Badamgerel -

He even now brings the items he had his tailored here, he is a student and always in need of more money.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

He is continuing his study on the money he himself earned. That poor Dorjnyambuu has an epilepsy, he has constant seizure of that illness.

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Anyway, he isn’t short of the money for his medical treatment.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Then, there is a woman, called Altantsetseg. She lives at Yarmag . Her family recently bought a computer for its children. She brought that what, she brought her products to us.

Otgonchimeg -

Finished products.

Badamgerel -

She brought us her finished products. And asked for our help, so we told her well, then you should to continue to sew. These are our requirements, you should work according to them. You know now what are the requirements and do it accordingly. So she was receiving her payment on the basis of the calculation and bought a computer for her student daughter.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Then people have a lot of what [ambition?].

Byambajav -

What do you do with those items bought from the others?

Badamgerel -

Those products?

Byambajav -

Yes. (0-11-51)

Möngöntsetseg -

We try our best to sell those items. However, we experience certain difficulties in Mongolia.

Otgonchimeg -

Do have difficulties.

Möngöntsetseg -

So on most occasions whenever our esteemed teacher Rinpoche and Maajur come they take the products with them..

Otgonchimeg -

So they tаke them away.

Badamgerel -

Then they send us money from there (abroad) to support our activities. We were told that they also face difficulties over there, yes?.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. This is done by spending a lot of energy. Yes. Then people on that other side also help (0-12-19) the association.

Badamgerel -

So they buy the products in order to support us.

Otgonchimeg -

In order to assist they buy those products.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, those products.

Badamgerel -

No matter how bad they are behind them there is the…

Otgonchimeg -

Behind it there is the name of Mongolia.

Möngöntsetseg -

They say that products have labels which states that it has been hand made by poor women of Mongolia. So it prompts people to buy those products, specially by foreigners.

Otgonchimeg -

They buy it without any regard whether they need it or not. Yes, they do.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

So these kindhearted people buy it to help the poor.

Badamgerel -

Yes. Then when we find out that the products are bought for that reason, we also try that what our people sew be of high quality. Yes. We try very hard that since people are buying over there, try to make something that will be useful in its turn to those who buy that stuff.

Byambajav -

Aa haan. Well, I understand that your centre is one of the most important places of your centre. Yes, I mean the sewing factory (shop). How are you going to expand it further?

Badamgerel -

We are diversifying the name and type of our products and doing our best to improve. And then…

Otgonchimeg -

You said you’d speak about the use of wool? Did you?

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. We run in south in Undurshil soum, Undurshil soum of Dundgovi aimag a training course for making felt art items. In order to improve the quality of the products by painting, improving the design and increasing the variety of products, we are working on wool over there. Well, at the beginning to support the women we were buying almost everything they tailored. Then eventually, we came to understand that sale of the products was the most important part of our work. If we could quicken this turnover it would encourage those working on this project and will make our work easier. And we then started thinking about the sale (marketing) with that issue of quality comes up. So quality is the first issue.

Byambajav -

Aa haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

If quality of the product is good then its sale will be good and it would mean good feed back. Therefore, starting from this year we are going to pay more attention to the quality. We’ll pay more attention to quality, diversity and to utility aspects. (0-14-24)

Byambajav -

Be closer to…

Möngöntsetseg -

Aa, closer to, yes. (We shall try) to make things that people need and will use. And then eventually we’ll hopefully open our own brand shop. So we‘ll sell our products to tourists in this way we are trying to expand our activities, to embrace more women, so we are thinking a lot about this aspect and launched a study on expansion of our activities.

Byambajav -

Aan.

Otgonchimeg -

We aim to preserve our national art in its traditional form as it was in the past. Regrettably, we are abandoning our national art. Then since it has become a type of business, handicraft is loosing its past beauty and quality. If we can bring it back to its mainstream, we can preserve the art as it is. We are hoping to preserve in tact the old customs and principles.

Badamgerel -

Yes. This is the main concern of our teacher. Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Our teacher, our teacher-the lama says to us you should preserve your Mongolian national stuff (values) he very often repeats this message to us.

Otgonchimeg -

It is something which is unique in world he would say.

Badamgerel -

Yes. He tries very hard to direct us towards this (goal). We make small cloth bags. Cloth wallet, pouch or bags for passport and decorate them with beautiful national ornaments in needle work. That way, we make them more suitable to use.

Byambajav -

Aa haan.

Badamgerel -

So then…

Byambajav -

Now at the centre are there any other activities similar to the one on tailoring and lessons on tailoring, being conducted?

Otgonchimeg -

Aa, except sewing there are other projects as well. There is the “Tuslamj” (Assistance) project. “Tuslamj” project consists of two parts. There is a project called “Kaluun Khool” (Warm food) and the “Kindergarten” project, there is also a “24 Kindergarten”. In addition to them, we distribute rice, flour, firewood and coal. There is a project on health as well as on vegetable cultivation. And there are many more. I have just mentioned about Undurshil project, system training and many other interconnected projects are being implemented.

Badamgerel -

In Undurshil there must be a health project also.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

New projects emanate naturally from the ones being implemented. We first started the project to support women and started training courses. Then it happened that there were no one to take care of the children (left at home). Even if we brought the children to the centre we had no professionally trained person to work with preschool education of children (0-16-58) So it comes clear that if the children were attending kindergartens their mothers could work without worry, the children will have food and warm shelter. We decided it could be done and went around to visit the families and sent 25 children on our financial support to preschool institutes, these children attended preschool training and are now attending kindergartens. Well, so their children were brought to kindergarten, those mothers who did not participate in our tailoring project, even if they wanted to sew at home, women face many other problems such as buying firewood and coal. In order to help them overcome this difficulty at least one time we try to give goal during the winter, in ger districts coal is the most important problem to solve. If we could give some coal they instead of buying coal by the money they earned selling bottles at least one can buy a bread, can buy some food. Yes, that is why providing coal becomes one of the most important thing. When you visit these households, people are sitting home because they do not have proper clothing. Aa, when a child who was attending kindergarten stops coming asked what happened they would say the child has no clothes.

Byambajav -

Mm.

Möngöntsetseg -

So, we need clothes and the need for clothes spontaneously emerges. And like this more and more requirements for something emerge one after another. So we give food assistance to those families without food such as flour and rice. Otgoo would you tell us, how many families did you visit personally? Will you?

Otgonchimeg -

As of now I have visited about 100 families.

Möngöntsetseg -

She visited them in person.

Otgonchimeg -

I visited about 100 families of this 9th khoroo (sub-district). And then we make the social study for the social worker of this 9th sub-district. We visited the 6th centre, oh no, not the 6th centre but the household medical service, we got the study by the service and according the study visited the families, visited about 100 families and saw by our own eyes which were indeed truly poor families and what was their needs. We gave some a monthly expenses to buy the medicines, but the next month the need for the money is still there, because some one has a cancer. There was a small child of 10 years old. If that child was treated every month, the pain subsides and there is hope that for another 4 years the child could live. The mother was temporary out of job on a medical leave. So we had to give her medicine valued at 30,000 tugrugs. But if we supply only the medicines, they will have no money to buy food. If we give her assistance in flour, rice and coal then she can save some part of her welfare allowance and can spend it for the medical treatment of her child for the next month. So we have to take into consideration every aspect and try to solve the matter in close interrelationship with other issues. As Mungu has just mentioned we supply firewood, coal or something else so that they could save some money which they can spend for something else, say for education of their children, to buy flour or rice (0-19-49), they may use that savings to buy books and note-books for their children. In such a manner, every issue should be taken in their close connection and compliment each other, while serving as a good support to the person concerned. But the most difficult problem we face is how to change the mental attitude of the person concerned, many just sit idle and talk of their sufferings, saying we are really suffering a lot, but they never really give any thought to what is the real source of their sufferings. No matter how hard we try to explain to them the reason for it they would not understand it. They are just stuck where they are and stay ignorant and unreceptive.

Badamgerel -

Well, thank you.

Otgonchimeg -

It is awfully difficult. You explain to them again and again, they will not understand. And if anyone is convinced of his or her rightness concerning something which is in fact wrong, he is stuck with the idea and it is very difficult to make him change his mind, if the mind frame is not changed, then the person is stuck with the way of life he or she is in, which is awful. To get out from such a situation, we attach special importance to Buddhist religion and the teachings of Buddha. Therefore, we appeal to all those who are attending our courses on tailoring and to all children and parents participating in “Khaluun Khool” (Warm food) project to attend the training (on Buddhist teachings). If you can change your mental attitude and follow the teachings of Buddha and when you feel that changes are happening and understand what is meaning of life then you are charged with energy to continue your life further (in a different way). You experience changes in your mental attitude as well. So we explain to them on our own life experience then some of them will understand and follow us. The most difficult thing is man is usually bogged down by their own ignorance and refuse to make any move. It is what happens and it is the horribly difficult thing. And the only thing that changes the situation is the teachings of Buddha.

Möngöntsetseg -

There is some who did understand became involved

Otgonchimeg -

Then our…

Badamgerel -

Yes, that is our Tsevlee. Tell us about it.

Byambajav -

Will you please tell us about that.

Tsevlee -

Well, in the beginning my life was extremely hard. Of course my husband divorced and left me, I have 4 children. So I was doing various jobs, I was selling and buying at the market, deceived, told lies and whenever I managed to extract some additional money I was happy. Ha, ha, that was how I lived and when I returned home if the home was warm and we had food to eat, that was almost the happiness. Then I suddenly found out from the sub-district that a welfare centre was opened. So when they asked me to bring my children, I brought them and gave to the kindergarten and attended once the lecture (on teachings of Buddha) just to see. When you start to understand its essence, Buddhist teachings really charges your mind, and you are attracted by the teachings, since I started attending the congregations, I stood (worked) for about half year at the market.(0-22-14) So I was still in my trading business at the same time continued to attend the congregation but at a later stage, I was attracted more and more by the congregation and when time of gathering neared I was in a hurry to finish and go to the congregation, I even left my four children home and spent whole night at the datsan (monastery) where Nogoon Dari ekhe (Goddess Green Tara) (0-21-29) was recited. In this way one’s mind becomes purified, feels comfortable and at ease, even started to tell people around me to attend the congregation, not that it was a persuasion of others to do so but still you would tell them why don’t you attend that gathering, I know by my own experience that it helps you to change your life completely. So when I came back from that recital of Nogoon Dari Ekh I felt that life had changed…

Möngöntsetseg -

Firewood...

Badamgerel -

Now then…

Tsevlee -

When I had no firewood and coal, the centre provided firewood, now we had food and drink, thus centre took care of us when our life was truly hard at times, we also received assistance and support from all quarters.

Otgonchimeg -

In about ten days assistance came one after the other

Badamgerel -

It truly arrived simultaneously…

Tsevlee -

In barely ten days I received almost everything a shelter (a ger), food, coal and firewood. So there is a genuine difference when you become a true believer and worshiper. My life really drastically improved, my youngest child was taken care at the kindergarten, three others were attending their schools.

Badamgerel -

A home .

Tsevlee -

I was given a nice home (ger). So everything went (in right direction). Before attending the congregation, I was a jealous and angry person, so when I got angry I would vent my fury on my husband, in general, I was very angry and aggressive person. Then after attending congregation I attained peace of mind, now even if I am short of something, I don’t really mind it, I assume it is today that I experience this but tomorrow things will be different, it will be good, and wish all the best to everyone, and try not to do anything bad or harm the others. If you go like this eventually everything will be fulfilled, you always wish and think of good things and pray to yours teachers, keep them in your mind...

Badamgerel -

If you proceed this way your life..

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, usually..

Otgonchimeg -

Now, it goes…

Möngöntsetseg -

How it is being resolved.

Otgonchimeg -

No matter what, that very...

Badamgerel -

Then what happens when you have that very righteous mind and kind heart, in general.

Tsevlee -

Yes. Now then, after a while I had to leave behind my buying and selling business, on my own voluntary desire. Because, in order to sell my goods I had to lie and if I sold something for higher price then I was delighted and took the money, after attending lectures on the teachings of Buddha that awful thought was subdued and I thought what an awfully sinful deed I was committing. I should be wishing good to a person and do meritorious deeds, but now I am deceiving a person and almost stealing from someone. So I decided to stop it and for almost 2 months I had no job. But I was attending the sermons given by my teacher. Then one day I came to the gathering then sister Otgonchimeg told me that Munguu wishes to see you. I came running (0-24-58) to see her so that was how I became the cook. It was wonderful. Before that when I was attending the sermons I thought what a meritorious and lucky people are those who work here in this way. Oh, how much I wished to be working like this in some place. So when I had become an employer I was extremely thrilled and delighted, my heart was filled with that nice feeling… Then, also there was the rising fear…

Byambajav -

Ha ha.

Otgonchimeg -

Ha ha.

Badamgerel -

Because of the increased responsibility

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, a fearsome responsibility.

Tsevlee -

Responsibility means really that…

Byambajav -

Increased suffering ?

Otgonchimeg -

Ha ha.

Byambajav -

Ha ha.

Tsevlee -

No, it was not suffering but addition of awfully lot of responsibility. With increased responsibility I more deeply worshipped and trusted my teacher, was terribly afraid of not being able to deserve his trust, I was afraid what if I would not able to live up to his expectations. When I cooked food and gave to my colleagues and the teacher, if my teacher was smiling and eating the food I was immensely happy, if he does not eat much I was terrified that I would disappoint these nice people, would do something bad. It is now almost a year so I have acquired some experience. I know how I’ll prepare tasty food for my teachers, prepare the food children like so that they will go happy and satisfied. So I prepare food and attend sermons and recitals of books, children usually expresses their gratitude in a very nice manner. They would all say thank you, I would tell them to get excellent marks and they are very content and happy, they would say yes sister, I am getting better. It is truly wonderful.

Otgonchimeg -

Besides providing food we also pay a lot of attention to the education of these children. We invited students of institutes and professional teachers to give the children review lessons, even we ourselves would teach children of primary grades how to read, write and let them write under dictation, we try very hard so that the children get some education. (0-26-54). There are sisters among us who have been attending the congregation for more than 10 years. About 10 minutes before the luncheon they would give sermons on morality and teachings of Buddha, tell them short fairy tales and explain the meaning in connection with the teachings. This has a very good influence on children. I always think what we should do for the good of these children, we should not only develop them morally but also develop their talent, we try to arrange as many events as possible among them, try to give then some knowledge related to health, knowledge of science, give them all around knowledge so that they grow up as good individuals and live a happy and full life. And when you constantly think about it new ideas emerge, so you start thinking how to realize it. So in any case we try to bring up the children so that they later can earn their livelihood independently, receiving food only would be insufficient. They would become individuals who simply consume the food. Therefore, we try to encourage them to go the schools, get good marks, learn excellently, give the confidence to do so.

Möngöntsetseg -

Any way, they are now more or less stable. Aren’t they?.

Badamgerel -

Yes, but they were extremely unruly and undisciplined before.

Лхагваа -

They are now learning their lessons normally.

Otgonchimeg -

тэгээд тэр хүмүүжлийн тэр аа ярьж байгаа хичээлүүд уул нь энэ Лхагваа эгч ярьдаг юм л даа. Энэ бурхны шашны хичээлийг бас үзэхэд чинь.

Möngöntsetseg -

We teach them in shifts which we think is better. For everybody has his or her own thoughts and they have different methods of teaching. So we slightly altered the schedule, so we teach in shifts, this has more impact on children. We teach various subjects. Our Badmaa is going teach them to sing songs and write poems also.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

We want to develop their talent little by little, we ourselves sing songs, children are very fond of singing. It is difficult to repeat all the time, take your meal, do your lessons. So during the free time we ask the children to sing, ask them to draw paintings, thus we hope to develop their talent, by developing their talent and pursuing what they like they could perhaps find the way to earn their living. We could uncover their new talents and abilities. I think to work this way with them. I have some ideas and a plan to realize them in my mind. So we are trying and doing what we can thus we are moving ahead. And we hope that things will improve, everything will become nicer and better.

Möngöntsetseg -

The formation of our work team as now I recall started very nicely, isn’t it? From the very beginning Chuka-Chuluuntsetseg and me accompanied the teacher and helped him, did this and that but no matter how hard I tried from the bottom of my heart I was not able to do things right.(0-29-16) Aa Chuka knows Tibetan and she had been copying books.

Otgonchimeg -

Which year of the nineties was it ?

Möngöntsetseg -

It was ninety, exactly 97 or 8..

Otgonchimeg -

Probably 97 or 8.

Möngöntsetseg -

When the teacher first arrived.

Badamgerel -

Yes. Then he was seen walking there. So whenever Renbouchi teacher came in a black car with number plate 43-43, a women would come and assisted Renbouchi teacher and would go away. It is funny that though Munguu and myself that time knew each other we (did not contact).

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

When I heard Munguntsetseg was called I would look up and saw her. Then I thought Munguntsetseg was present here. Since the teacher was addressing mostly to Munguu I felt (he needed her more than me) and left, it was awfully funny. Then the construction work started, it was the time when the team was being formed. Munguu joined, Otgoo joined. Then (one day) teacher sent for her. Bring Otgonchimeg, she attends our congregation he said. We kept registration files. She wrote in her registration form as a construction specialist. So he said find and bring her here.

Отгоо -

I searched for whole 2-3 hours the streets for her, I looked for her, looked everywhere but could not find her. I was at loss and remembered that her husband was a school teacher. So I was asking her name was Otgonchimeg, she sew leather goods. So at last I could manage to find her.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Отгоо -

So I told her that teacher was calling her, he wants to see you. So we met the teacher, and found out that Munguu and me were not present at the most important event, here. The construction work was commencing and its foundation was being laid. It was in March, I don’t remember which date it was, the land was marked and the digging was to start, at that time the teacher was not present he was abroad on a mission. Then we called each other on phone and agreed that as the people say presence of “dog is not wanted where they are making felt” (presence of unwanted person is not welcome) and did not go to it. Aa, it was very important that we should have been present at that event. Teacher after returning asked were you two present at opening of the foundation, did you come when they started pouring cement of the foundation? The translator said no they did not come, what could we say.

So that was how I, for the first time, came to the building site...

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

At the beginning I thought that the construction should start here. Then I had to think a lot about it. My heart and mind were set to going there, I thought I must come to the construction. But I still kept some distance and was hesitating. I though it is a good thing, I should go there. Then during the night I has a dream that I should come to that place. Then in morning I got up and run to the construction site, I saw Badmaa and the teacher there. (0-31-41) Since I was attending the sermons I knew Badamgerel. So we exchanged a few words, since we were attending the gatherings together I knew her. So when I came the foundation was already laid, it was after that I came. The cellar was being built. So two of them were standing there, walking around a little bit. I was wondering what to do and accompanied them. At that time it was not very easy for us to find a harmony in our actions and feelings. Wasn’t it?

Badamgerel -

We had no knowledge of construction work. So it was very difficult to strike a harmony in our work. Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. There was no one from our side who could supervise the work from professional point of view. That is why the teacher found Otgoo, who had finished vocational school …of construction. Yes, the teacher was very good in seeing and choosing the right person.

Badamgerel -

He could see very well, chooses very well.

Otgonchimeg -

Though not a professional the teacher knows very well construction work. He would say that something was not done properly, we would say why probably not but after digging you would find that something was missing or not fully done.

Möngöntsetseg -

He really knows very well.

Otgonchimeg -

He will dig and find out what was done not properly. And would instruct that this should be done exactly in such a manner, when the cellar was under construction.

Möngöntsetseg -

It happened once, we were all present, yes. An entire wall was laid in brick. Then the teacher said something is missing behind this wall.

Otgonchimeg -

One thing is missing.

Möngöntsetseg -

He said that the isolation foam [insulation?] was not put between the walls. We said why it couldn’t be and were surprised since it was laid in brick all over, he said no they did not put the isolation foam behind it. So we said probably it was not the case. Here, there is one brick has not been cemented in its place and summoned the engineer told him about that. So when the brick was removed, the foam was not there, it was a unfilled hollow wall (without isolation).

Otgonchimeg -

The wall was built without filling, hollow.

Möngöntsetseg -

The teacher directly told this just looking at the wall.

Otgonchimeg -

It was a wall of 38 cm thick. The outer surface was laid in 2 bricks and the middle was left empty (hollow).

Möngöntsetseg -

The space between the walls were left empty by the builders.

Otgonchimeg -

I was surprised to see it. How did the teacher know it.

Möngöntsetseg -

The teacher is a very interesting person.

Otgonchimeg -

He was saying there is something, as if he has seen it by his own eyes.

Möngöntsetseg -

He looked at the wall which was intact and said about it (hollow) as if he saw it. We were all taken back. Aah, we exclaimed what is this.

Otgonchimeg -

Then in order to construct a good quality building we listened to every words of the teacher.

Möngöntsetseg -

After that

Otgonchimeg -

Аа haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

The builders of Badamdorj guai who worked learned a lot of things, aren’t they

Badamgerel -

They learned a lot.

Möngöntsetseg -

They learned how to work.

Otgonchimeg -

Learned to take critical remarks of others. And they learned to understand (recognise) their mistakes. And they gained a lot of work experience according their professions.

Möngöntsetseg -

Then since teacher made them to dismantle that brick (wall) they always obeyed the teacher and did instantly whatever he said what should be done. That was very interesting, wasn’t it?

Otgonchimeg -

For an ordinary man it is so, for an ordinary man he is that very…

Möngöntsetseg -

He is that very reincarnate lama.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. Ordinary man would think of his prestige or something else. And they would argue or dispute etc. Then our teachers would behave very differently and nicely, they were told politely it should be done in such time, in such a way. Your work of high quality will remain in your possession, it will be the property of the Mongolian people and make the people to do the job. At a later stage we became very friendly and harmonious. After the construction work started we could not find a common language with the builders but later our teacher politely turned the tide and established a very friendly relations with the builders. So whenever he said to do something it was done immediately, we found a common language and eventually became as good friends. The Director of the construction company Badamdorj guai help us in every way. He also reads the teachings of Buddha and about the Buddhist religion. He understands the teachings and gives assistance in training of these students, and our participation in various activities.

Badamgerel -

He used to come leading his child in his hand.

Otgonchimeg -

He is a very good man.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, he is, yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Exceptionally good man. Then he is a man who understood the great significance of the teachings of Buddhist religion, teachings of the Buddha. So he used to say I’ll help you to the best of my abilities and until now he support us. We had established very good relations and enjoy it immensely. Since then no such thing as hatred nor abhorrence, no sadness or regret or resentment of each other were left between us. Everything apparently was harmonized and worked out nicely by our teacher.

Möngöntsetseg -

Teacher himself told us. By doing this I am not looking down at this man.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. (0-35-07)

Möngöntsetseg -

This man will do the job next time without any mistake, if he does a flawless work, other construction companies will come to him, to them , to entrust some other task. When this happens this company will develop.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, those foreigners.

Möngöntsetseg -

If you learn to deceive then there is no future for you, you can’t progress further that way.

Badamgerel -

Yes, that very.

Tsevlee -

That would mean you’ll get stuck on your way.

Otgonchimeg -

Foreigners take away all the job of the Mongolian construction workers. So these builders are left empty handed. It is just what is happening. Therefore you should do your job very good and sincerely.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. Then Mongolian people have no jobs to do. Yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes, and their livelihood is very poor.

Otgonchimeg -

At first, those builders were very angry and resented very much (our demands).

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

They said that what they have built has been demolished and that we were playing with their livelihood.

Badamgerel -

They said that they were professional builders.

Otgonchimeg -

Despite this they used to order meat and made us to prepare for them buuz (steamed meat dumplings), yes, they did.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We all tried hard to please them and preparing food for construction workers nice foods such as buuz, khuusuur

Otgonchimeg -

We brought meat and prepared food and tea to feed them.

Badamgerel -

Yes. At a later stage.

Möngöntsetseg -

It was a very nice time.

Badamgerel -

Yes, it was.

Tsevlee -

I heard that the teacher himself was carrying the chalk [whitewash] and painting (the wall), did he?

Badamgerel -

Yes. Tell about it.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. He spent the whole day and night.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes

Möngöntsetseg -

Teacher looked after the work day and night.

Otgonchimeg -

He was keeping a close eye on the construction work.

Badamgerel -

They say the teacher himself was working..

Tsevlee -

Yes, he did a lot of work. (0-36-11) At every stage of construction.

Möngöntsetseg -

All the stages of the construction work had been photographed, every stage of the work was photographed, from the very beginning.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Pictures were taken, from the beginning, what was there.

Tsevlee -

At that time when the teacher called us to come we would come but soon leave. (0-36-22)

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Then we learned a lot of things. We all did.

Tsevlee -

Yes. We did learn a lot..

Badamgerel -

We learned a lot of things here..

Otgonchimeg -

We provided jobs to many.

Badamgerel -

We’ll master discipline of work from here, aren’t we?.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. We can’t say we learned because we were at the side of the teacher. Yes (0-36-36)

Tsevlee -

No, we can’t say that.

Otgonchimeg -

If we describe it nicely, it is so, anyway compared to the beginning we are changed, we have become very different, aren’t we. (0-36-39) We can now lead. .

Tsevlee -

We have changed.

Möngöntsetseg -

Of course, we are different.

Badamgerel -

Now, we are really different people.

Otgonchimeg -

We had very funny confusions, it was really funny.

Möngöntsetseg -

When we were starting our activities we had a lot of fun. Construction of the house was finished and our teacher left for India. So we remained behind. And we had a lot of free time. Ha ha.

Otgonchimeg -

But we did a lot of things. We used to spend the night here.

Tsevlee -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

We were applying paintings, installing furnishings etc. and spent the night here.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We painted the stairways. Spread the carpets and installed furnishings, did everything..

Otgonchimeg -

We did not spare our time and efforts, yes.

We did not spare efforts because after all we were the ones who would make these things.

Möngöntsetseg -

We remained here until 1, 2 a.m. doing this and that.

Badamgerel -

Only after that we would go home, yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

After all, when you have likeminded people, work for a single goal it is the most rewarding experience. Yes, it is.

Tsevlee -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

It is awfully nice.

Möngöntsetseg -

We had no pretensions to each other. We don’t say to one other that you are late or behind as some people do. We have no such a thing. We decide altogether let’s do this, for example we decide let’s go to the housing district and go there. (0-37-28)

Badamgerel -

If there is something to do we do it together.

Möngöntsetseg -

We do jointly in an instance.

Badamgerel -

It is very nice. People who come to us always say that it is wonderful.

Tsevlee -

When you come here you find this place completely different from the rest.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Tsevlee -

When you come to market place you have a certain feeling.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Tsevlee -

Then when you come to the temple of Buddha, to this centre people’s mind by itself becomes very different and serene and pat peace.

Badamgerel -

Did you tell about that? You Munguu about that very…

Otgonchimeg -

Did you tell about Avdrant prison, prison for women, prison for children?

Möngöntsetseg -

No, I didn't.

Otgonchimeg -

You should tell about that by all means.

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes, you should tell about it, did you tell about it before...

Badamgerel -

You tell please. Speak, speak. That is a part of the lecture we deliver, part of the explanations we give on our talk, a part of it.

Tsevlee -

Yes, it is a part of it.

Möngöntsetseg -

We first visited this prison for women Avdrant of Baynzurkh district and delivered a sermon there, telling them that a person may commit errors…there is actually no one who does not err, so may commit errors but the important thing is that you should repent that mistake,

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Teacher said that you should understand that mistake and be remorseful of it, the teacher explained teachings of Buddha, then he met with many of them personally.

Tsevlee -

They said that there was a need for Ger temple (0-38-30) Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Mrs. Oyunbadam, the Director (of the prison) said that there was a need for ger temple, the prisoners also expressed that wish so the teacher brought them the ger temple with all the necessary Burkhans (Buddha statues), shrines, books and sutras, including various books printed Cyrillic letters.

Otgonchimeg -

So during their free time they….

Badamgerel -

If the temple was open they read books,

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, it was very useful. By doing this, they say relations among the inmates have considerably changed. There (in the temple) they were treated not as prisoners, but as equals and as human beings that was what the Colonel Oyunbadam stressed very much. She said it was thanks to the opening of the temple over there. When the temple was opened there we were invited to Avdrant prison camp. So we visited Avdrant prison, it is an establishment with terribly strict regime. A ger temple was built there with all its shrines and books, it was a forbidden zone. So we entered the zone met the convicts. We asked should we meet them separately one by one in person or not. The Director said there was a very difficult convict (0-39-35).

So asked why don’t you meet him and speak to him he all the time attempts to commit suicide. So the teacher met that person and asked why are you trying to take your life. He said that he had an unbearable splitting headache and he can not tolerate the pain, decided to die and cut his blood vessels. Asked why he was convicted he said that he stole and slaughtered cattle.

Otgonchimeg -

He killed the cattle by hitting it on the head.

Möngöntsetseg -

He killed by bashing the head of the animal and sold the meat. So in this way he killed many cows. So the teacher told him about destiny, about the fruits of one’s actions and said if you can truly repent the wrong you had committed and pray for forgiveness earnestly then your headache would recede. He gave him a rosary and counseled him to come to the ger temple and read this book and count the rosary. We later was told that after his (teacher’s) visit to the camp and meeting with the inmates various violations such as escapes, tormenting each other which were rampant there had decreased drastically. We also visited children’s prison camp and delivered sermons to those children.

Tsevlee -

Welfare centers.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, welfare centers.

Möngöntsetseg -

He visited welfare centers frequently and gave whatever they asked for if they asked boots he gave them, if they said they need bags gave bags, (0-41-08) if they asked notebooks, pen, pencils he gave it to them. Yes. We gave boots and clothes to the children of the kindergarten, then later we started paying more attention to providing vitamins during the Spring, we gave money to buy vitamins and gave it to all the children, one child whose legs had become unbendable was operated with our assistance. The diagnosis was Chaplin something. Since it was unbendable the child could not sit, had to stand all the time. The child was operated and he could bend his legs (knees).

Byambajav -

Aan yeah.

Möngöntsetseg -

It was like that. Chaplin walks in a peculiar way, like that.

Otgonchimeg -

May be it was called Chaplin syndrome.

Möngöntsetseg -

That was exactly the diagnosis. Yes. Then there was an operation on the back of a child from Darkhan

Otgonchimeg -

Aa yes. Prosthesis.

Möngöntsetseg -

That was a child with back bone rickets.

Tsevlee -

Yes. Our child had an ailment of liver since last year and has a chronic inflammation the parents said.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Tsevlee -

Yes. We bought liver pills for him and the cost of one course of treatment will reach 30 thousand (tugrug). (0-42-18) At that time he was over 3 or 4 years old (0-42-20) but very (weak). Now, he has become completely different. He was suffering from vitamin deficiency but refused to take them, he was a very weak small child but now after taking the pills he grew considerably and gained weight.

Otgonchimeg -

His hair growth intensified.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, his hair grew and he has become a pretty child.

Otgonchimeg -

Yeah.

Badamgerel -

Yes indeed.

Tsevlee -

Yes. His hair started growing after taking the medicine, last time when we bought medicine he had already considerable hair, before that he was almost bald but when it grows it can be seen clearly. The hair was piled and black.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, it was a kind of black in colour.

Tsevlee -

It turned very black. If he does not take the medicine he constantly bleeds from his nose. They know that if he takes the medicine there will be no bleeding. If he runs out of the medicine after a while he bleeds and his mother pleads with us to buy the medicine. So after taking the medicine for some time he was cured and has become a normal child. Just like us he has become a devotee of Buddhist teachings. He would say I miss the teacher when he is coming. And then he has big ideas (ambitions). He said I would like to attend the congregation of Green Tara and spend the night in congregation. Ha ha. Then he had a robe of lama, he was probably 4 and half that time.

Badamgerel -

The robe was very short for him.

Otgonchimeg -

When Rinpoche and the other teacher came, also Nardirav guai they would visit the families in the vicinity, so they saw by their own eyes everything. That way they make their own conclusions and decide what kind of assistance was needed, that is how they find the idea how to assist themselves on the basis objective reality.

Yes. It was the teacher… (0-43-39)

Tsevlee -

Yes, yes.

Otgonchimeg -

He visits all the households regularly and always express his concern and initiate various undertaking let’s do this or that etc.

Möngöntsetseg -

Rinpoche bagsh the poor man did that.

Otgonchimeg -

He did this no matter what, (0-43-49) Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

He did not mind the hot sunshine, yes. (0-35-39)

Otgonchimeg -

He did not mind it all and walked and walked.

Möngöntsetseg -

We have travelled on foot, by car and in various mode of transport.

Otgonchimeg -

From the morning we visited all (nearby) households.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. These fellows at the end visited great number of households..

Otgonchimeg -

We also visited those families who had no shelter and we gave to quite a number of families gers. Were they ten or eight of them?

Möngöntsetseg -

Ten, yes.

Otgonchimeg -

As of now we provided gers to at least ten families.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We gave gers again, only gers with …

Badamgerel -

A ger with furniture.

Möngöntsetseg -

A complete set, including the floors..

Otgonchimeg -

A complete set, with floors, yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We decided to give them truly something worthwhile, yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes, after all.

Möngöntsetseg -

We decided to give something which is worthwhile not something insignificant.

Otgonchimeg -

We decided to give truly worthwhile assistance once we give them assistance, yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Giving an assistance that is just like a drop of something, like a few drops would be just like deceiving somebody.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. We wanted to do a few things but something which really yields result, yes, we wanted to some real thing.

Möngöntsetseg -

Then, it was financed from Ireland, our Rinpoche, poor thing since he himself is not a businessman, it is hard for him find money, so when he found out that there are people without shelter, he informed his disciples. Life is hard in Mongolia, there are many homeless persons, one of his disciples were a runner. He launched a campaign for runners, the participants put on their T shirt the sign “Assistance to the homeless in Mongolia” and run through the streets of the town. So those who supported joined him thus he collected money, that money was sent to (us) and we bought gers for homeless.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

That is how such great efforts are made.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, they exert much effort. When you think about it we have to try (hard here)

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. We try to deliver the assistance of those kind hearted people to the person that really needs the assistance.

Möngöntsetseg -

If we could deliver that assistance we can proud. л.

Otgonchimeg -

We ourselves are also very happy. We are happy in a thought that well, now this family is in a better shape.

Möngöntsetseg -

The role of the Rinpoche -our teacher the gevsh (senior lama) is so great that it is hard to describe it in words thanks to him the project has achieved the level of activities we have today.

Otgonchimeg -

It is because he was always present here.

Möngöntsetseg -

If what we have done is not before you (your eyes) to see it is hard to say thousand times that it is what we have done, it would have been very difficult (to convince). [What she wanted to say is not very clear, a rather free rendering what she probably meant was given. Энэ та нараар ажил ажил хэлэхгүй бол одоо мянга тэгсэн гээд одоо тиймээ, аягүй хэцүү байгаа шүү дээ, тиймээ.]

Badamgerel -

Yes. (0-45-45)

Möngöntsetseg -

Since we all have seen it by our own eyes we know how motivated he was and how hard he applied himself trying, he even had no time to take his meal he takes something (a snack) coming and going out and continued to run (to work).

Tsevlee -

In doing his work…

Otgonchimeg -

He was always on move.

Tsevlee -

Without food, he would go.

Badamgerel -

He would go to work always without food

Otgonchimeg -

Without food, He was extremely tired.

Tsevlee -

At times he was so fragile and exhausted.

Möngöntsetseg -

At times he was really pitiable.

Otgonchimeg -

He could not sleep, later he was suffering from sleeplessness (insomnia). Yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes. Because he not taking his food and continued to work.

Tsevlee -

He would drink that…

Möngöntsetseg -

There is a soft drink called Vitafit, he would drink saying that it contains vitamins ands continued his work. How can that be a food? Then after all…

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

If we were to go like this, we would have dizziness and probably our faces will turn yellowish in colour and we would be almost dying. But the teacher….

Badamgerel -

Then he would subsist on it.

Otgonchimeg -

And he constantly strove for his work.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, we all had darkened faces.

Tsevlee -

We don’t care about our look (0-46-25)

Otgonchimeg -

Since the teacher was very swift in thinking and acting, he would always say let’s do this and that and takes up the task with speed. We can’t s catch up with him.

Tsevlee -

We can’t follow him.

Otgonchimeg -

So we can’t follow him.

Möngöntsetseg -

We can’t grasp his thinking.

Otgonchimeg -

We can’t catch up with his intellect. So we called ourselves not without reason as the good-for-nothing subjects of wise noyan (prince)

Tsevlee -

We called ourselves as good-for-nothing subjects..

Otgonchimeg -

We called ourselves his subjects and were doing our best.

Badamgerel -

There were many things where even if we wanted our intellect was simply not sufficient. Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

It is true that even if we wanted we were helpless. Therefore, it was at times awful.

Otgonchimeg -

Somewhat, regrettable, isn’t it.

Badamgerel -

It is awful to think what can we do, yes.

Tsevlee -

It was the most awful thing. (0-46-54)

Möngöntsetseg -

It was the most awful feeling.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We sometimes despised ourselves very much, yes, we did. What shall we do, we are receiving salary for nothing but we are behaving like fools how can we do this? So we were really afraid. Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. This (centre) was built by hard labour and financial resources of the people. (0-47-08)

Möngöntsetseg -

We felt that we were simply squandering the money of the people and doing nothing. We could not catch up with the great wisdom of our teacher. And we were unable to repay the kindness our teacher devoted to us.

Otgonchimegг -

It is awfully difficult to describe it in words.

Möngöntsetseg -

If some of us said that she was feeling ill, he tried to help in every possible way.

Otgonchimeg -

He has a concern for everything, yes..

(Speaker Unclear) -

Yes, it is.

Möngöntsetseg -

When we had to put something aside and take up another, teacher would be able to manage everything.

Tsevlee -

He can coordinate all.

Möngöntsetseg -

When you recall now he was able to take care our families, our children and our activities.

Otgonchimeg -

He used to manage, yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

He used to tell us you should learn how to organise your job, now at such a such time you should manage your households affaires, so should be back home at such a time….

Badamgerel -

From the present, yes.(?)

Otgonchimeg -

He said when you come home you should take care of your family, but later

Badamgerel -

We can’t really succeed to do that, yes, it was unpleasant.

Tsevlee -

He said you take care of your children

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, he did.

Möngöntsetseg -

So he really cared about one’s family.

Otgonchimeg -

It was very nice.

Möngöntsetseg -

He told us to take care of our husbands this way and your children in this way etc. Yes.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Go home early and prepare the food, food for your family he would say in this way he instructed us in every detail in general.

Otgonchimeg -

But we did not notice that it was the time to go home.

Badamgerel -

We were sitting at the monastery, it happened sometimes. (0-48-17)

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. It was really bad, what that happens (?).

Otgonchimeg -

Then that English language training

Badamgerel -

So he was teaching us little by little, he was teaching us that way.

Otgonchimeg -

The children were taught very well.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes, little by little we learned a lot.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, that was a continuous teaching.

Otgonchimeg -

While working by the side of the teacher we learned a lot of things.

Möngöntsetseg -

Oh we learned a lot.

Otgonchimeg -

In any case we learned to evaluate ourselves (to judge our actions)(0-48-32)

Möngöntsetseg -

I was always saying I can’t do it and that was how I was going. One day we went to “Golomt” bank. When he asked where was the “Golomt” bank I did not know. But (later I knew) I was standing exactly in front of the bank. The teacher did not say it was right here and told me ask from somebody. Then I addressed a person who had telephone set in his hand and asked him where was the “Golomt” bank? He replied I don’t know. Then the teacher said you did not choose the right person. He even taught us such mundane things. It should have been like this, first we should decide from whom should we ask such a question and only after that we should put the question. But I was standing there and asked the question from a person who just happened to be around.

Otgonchimeg -

You were standing right there but asking the whereabouts of the bank, yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Only then I thought, well, not being able to choose the right person means a lot. I should ask the question from someone else and watched around, then I saw a man with a jeep, who had a business man like appearance. So asked him and he told me it is right here. When I looked up it was just on the side. So the teacher was giving the chance to learn such a thing. Yes, so he would…

Otgonchimeg -

He would counsel us and give instructions, yes

Badamgerel -

He would teach us on his own example.

Otgonchimeg -

He would say think this over before you come over tomorrow.

Möngöntsetseg -

We were leaving and he would give this task.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. He would say think over carefully before coming. So thinking over is really very important. Before we always replied without thinking. Then the answer would be useless. When we think this over at home, we would think it from different perspectives and come back with various ideas some of them useful, the others not. Then when we discuss all these ideas the right one emerges.

Möngöntsetseg -

At the beginning every one of us had no idea who should be responsible for what. (0-49-58)

Otgonchimeg -

We were an inseparable bunch, if a person was washing the floor all would start washing the floor, at first teacher watched us in silence, then told do your job. We did not understand what he meant.

Möngöntsetseg -

I also did not understand, he did not tell me what to do when I am not doing anything, but he was telling something to the others, while there are a lot of things to be done.

Otgonchimeg -

That says one should feel what she should be doing.

Möngöntsetseg -

We ourselves did not know that. We all jammed and crowded at a job.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. All crowded after another. Yes, we looked at each other and tried to do everything together. (0-50-29) He even told us you look as if all tied together, those who have nothing to do should go home, those who doing something could stay.

yes

Möngöntsetseg -

After all, it is the life.

Otgonchimeg -

We were almost told that Otgoo should stay, you should stay, even for such things we waited for instructions.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, it was exactly like that.

Tsevlee -

Yes, it is.

Badamgerel -

We were instructed even such things from the beginning

Otgonchimeg -

We were taught and taught very well.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. Even we were taught still we did not quite understood. I was told what to do at that time. But I did not make the accounting and bookkeeping and was running outside of the office doing chorus but was not doing the work at the office, which I should have been doing.

We, in general, had a lot of amusing experiences. Teacher conveyed trough someone else what he did not want to say directly to us, in doing so he did not scold but in a very kind and pleasant way. (0-51-17)

Otgonchimeg -

In a way we can understand it.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. The words he conveyed through others were such that any one would easily comprehend its meaning. Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. Very funny.

Möngöntsetseg -

He did not scold us. Since he was not very close to us, he would not scold us directly.

He was very close to Badmaa and by scolding Badmaa he let us understand what he wanted. So we would …

Otgonchimeg -

We would get the hint from there what he wanted.

Tsevlee -

Get the hint and run to serve him. Yeah (0-51-42)

Badamgerel -

Well, you apparently understood him better. I thought he was scolding me and I was a bit irritated only now I understand that he was scolding (all of us). At that time I took it as a personal reproach and spoke about it as such.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. I thought he would scold you but not us and would leave.

Well, well Badmaa will be scolded, I’ll be not scolded and was happy about it.

Tsevlee -

Then, now...

Otgonchimeg -

Well, then when he spoke I thought what shall we do, why we did not do that, it should have done as he says, this is what came to my mind.

Tsevlee -

Yes, it is, it is what comes to mind.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, then we finish the job that was not done.

Möngöntsetseg -

After you have been scolded, I understood and regretted that it was exactly as he said

Otgonchimeg -

Then there were many instances where we lacked the keenness and dedication. (0-52-15)

Badamgerel -

Yes, there were such instances.

Otgonchimeg -

Teacher would say I am not going to speak about good and bad qualities of this man. The most important thing, I want, is to get good result and to give to the others guaranteed products he said. When I heard that I was afraid the teacher is unenthusiastic about and will stop it and start running about (try to do a better job) when we were giving assistance to the households

Möngöntsetseg -

Why don’t you ell about the Bereesee (steamed rice with sugar and raisin).

Otgonchimeg -

The steamed rice was a funny incident. We prepared steamed rice for the lamas who attended the Lhamyn Jodvoo, we should have given the rice after the congregation of Lhamyn Jodvoo to the lamas. Then absorbed by the recitals of the congregation, happy to see the lamas singing the recitals, (I forgot) I was also unaware when the steamed rice should be distibuted.

Möngöntsetseg -

Teacher said he would signal us to distribute it but we did not even notice the teacher’s signaling.

Otgonchimeg -

Did not notice.

Möngöntsetseg -

Without noticing the signal, as if I was sitting alone engulfed by (the congregation)

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We were interested in their debate and did not notice the signal. That very Zorigoo, a disciple of the teacher (and others) were here. They came back on their vacation.

Otgonchimeg -

They came back from India, were they?.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, exactly, their visa had expired and they came for prolongation. And they organized a dispute. At the same there was a gathering of lamas (0-53-09), the teacher asked us prepare everything for that gathering. So more one hundred lamas participated in the gathering and teacher told everything for tsedee ? gathering should be prepared from the centre (0-53-18). So we did all the preparations.

Otgonchimeg -

We prepared the steamed rice but because of carelessness we forgot to distribute the steamed rice and the people (lamas) went away.

Tsevlee -

So the people have dispersed.

Otgonchimeg -

Asked what happened Badmaa said I don’t know, ask from the teacher. We asked from Munguu what to do she also said to ask from the teacher. So we came running to the teacher then he said that you could distribute that rice tomorrow and I believed him, and told Badmaa and Munguu he says that we can distribute the rice tomorrow. Then they said it will be spoiled by tomorrow. Haah, then what shall we do (with the rice), how shall we dispense it? (0-53-44).

Möngöntsetseg -

There were two big vessels of how many liters, full of rice?

Otgonchimeg -

It was fifty liters.

Möngöntsetseg -

Two vessels of 50 liter capacity, it was steamed rice of 50 liters, exactly of that amount.

Tsevlee -

It was an awfully lot of rice.

Otgonchimeg -

Awfully lot of it. When told why don’t you distribute tomorrow, I believed it, I was a really a fool (0-53-59), hey, he says we can distribute it tomorrow, then they asked who will be here tomorrow? Oh, then it dawned on me it was true (0-54-04) So we took out and saw that many old women and our sisters in numbers were circumambulating (the monastery). So we started distributing to those who were circumambulating the steamed rice. So after giving it away until the end we had a sigh of relief.

Möngöntsetseg -

In general, a lot of funny things happened to us. Since we had no experience this kind of job we always had some funny incident at the beginning. So we had awful lot of difficulties at the beginning but later it became very satisfying and nice.

Otgonchimeg -

Then from there we learned plenty of rewarding experiences, yes, we did.

Möngöntsetseg -

We are still learning.

Badamgerel -

Then we have learned a lot.

Tsevlee -

Now, we are learning a lot of things.

Möngöntsetseg -

We know what will happen if we do not succeed completing our job in time, yes. So we try to do everything in the best way and be highly successful.

Otgonchimeg -

Well, develop your plan, make evaluation.

Badamgerel -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

If we can find and do the main thing, then results come forward directly.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Now, we don’t have that much uncertainty, do we?

Otgonchimeg -

There was a time when we had no understanding of our work. You do not understand what is being told and took notes blindly. But now things have changed we now speak let’s prepare our plan, let’s discuss what would the outcome of this undertaking etc.

Möngöntsetseg -

Until today, I have not yet learned properly how to keep and fix up the documents and papers, yes, it is.

Badamgerel -

Yes, we haven’t learned yet.

Möngöntsetseg -

There was a parcel to send to Ireland. It was not labeled properly that it is being sent to Ireland. Then we were surprised what was this. From where it arrived to us? It was labeled by Otgoo, then we called hey Otgoo what happened to it? Why did we label it like this? It was meant to be sent Ireland.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Everything went through stages.

Möngöntsetseg -

Now our teacher is telling us, you should have a fixed day for your meetings, and at the meeting you should speak about what you have done, what you are going to do, you should develop your plan in this manner and always consider the result of your work. We have not made it yet an established practice of our work. We need to adopt this practice, yes we do.

Otgonchimeg -

Then accord and friendship is very important. Since we had maintained friendly relations among ourselves, we always conferred with each other hey, how are we going to do this or if there is something we need let’s find it, and ask someone to look for it, in this way we have been helping each other, so we have been able to succeed in our undertakings nicely.

Badamgerel -

So jointly we did the job.

Tsevlee -

With the help and support of each other,

Otgonchimeg -

We received each others support and ideas as well.

Badamgerel -

Yes. That is why it is wonderful. (0-55-56)

Möngöntsetseg -

When you have something at hands which you can not do and having difficulty to cope with, suggestions come forward, why don’t you do it this or that way, then I get the idea. Yes, it could be done this way. If there are conflicting views, then you can find the solution taken consideration these views and decide it can be formulated in this way. This is how you get the ideas.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We even agree on what meal we would have today.

Tsevlee -

We try as much as possible to improve the meal.

Badamgerel -

Yes. So that we can prepare tastier food.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. Then, it was important in every endeavour, support each other, support sincerely with good intentions.

Möngöntsetseg -

From the beginning we worked together not alone, but as a collective, it is important to uphold unity of the collective and unity of our goals.

Otgonchimeg -

Shall we talk about the training on working in group?.

Badamgerel -

Yes, please tell about it.

Otgonchimeg -

There is a training course organized by the Mongolian development centre. It is a 4 day intensive training course. There is the notion of principle of working in groups. Then, this is a notion of intellectual aspect. It means gathering together and consulting each other how to manage their work, and how to make the evaluation of its outcome. It is such a nice principle. So after attending the training, we are striving to implement that principle, make evaluation, clarify the issue and encourage each other and organize and coordinate our work. Well, we discuss and come the conclusion this or that may be the best way to manage it. And there are 4 skills that every one should possesses. We are trying to master these 4 skills, Badamgerel and me participated in the training. So I am telling them, hey how it should be done, but I am a person who is inclined to encourage others and I am a bit exaggerating that incentive or stimulus.

Möngöntsetseg -

Exaggeration in encouragement would mean I am encouraging so that you follow me blindly..

Otgonchimeg -

If one does not receive encouragement he/she tries have it..

Möngöntsetseg -

There are people who do not receive encouragement but says it does not matter.

Otgonchimeg -

Then there is the need for coordination, that training was a very good training.

Tsevlee -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

Then we have to coordinate and instruct how to organize and coordinate our work, so we have coordinate things by telling them it is better to do it this or that ways etc.

Badamgerel -

There were four of us.

Otgonchimeg -

We decide how to work collectively and then it is also good to make assessment of our work. Also, we support each other, saying this or that was done very well, and thus encourage each other, then the person is encouraged, we do this not to sing praises for someone.

Badamgerel -

It is intended to encourage and give incentive.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. It is hoped that our people understand it. Then, it is always good when you make evaluation and coordinate our activities. Also that training was a very good one.

Möngöntsetseg -

It is very good. A coordinator on every day taught us exactly what we should and how we do it on that day during the training.

Otgonchimeg -

Day by day.

Möngöntsetseg -

Thus they coordinate, so that person learns a subject in a day from those 4 subjects to be learnt, a day is devoted to each of those subjects. So you learn them. Then you know what the coordinator should do? What is the responsibility of the encourager? What is the task of an evaluator ? You know about it. Then what is the remaining one?

Otgonchimeg -

I can’t remember that one. Encourager, coordinator, evaluator and the other one is mm the executor.

Badamgerel -

It is not the supporter (follower).

Otgonchimeg -

It is coming closer (0-58-38)

Möngöntsetseg -

Oh, it is the supporter.

Otgonchimeg -

Is it supporter?

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, it is. You are supposed to support the activities of the people, aa that is the encourager.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, it is encourager, coordinator, evaluator. I omitted it. Apparently, I did not posses this skill.

Badamgerel -

Yes, probably it is so.

Otgonchimeg -

Without doing the rest and if you go around running and praising yourself what will happen. Ha ha ha.

Möngöntsetseg -

And say that you learned all the subjects and speak about 4 subjects [probably not 4 digit figures mentioned in the text ].

Otgonchimeg -

So after coming back I told them. Well, this is how people work collectively, they do this and that, they coordinate their activities in such a nice way and we attempted to implement what we have learned.

Badamgerel -

Specially, this one.

Otgonchimeg -

It was a wonderful thing.

Möngöntsetseg -

I am thinking that implementation by many organizations (of the principle) would bring much better results. And I also thought that we actually have been working along this principle.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. But we were unaware of it.

Möngöntsetseg -

We did not know it, but the teacher already told us, that we should work in such a way, yes. The teacher told us about it, And we were working according to this very principle. The teacher led us exactly in accordance with this principle.

Otgonchimeg -

He led us, when we two later…

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

attended (the training) and made the conclusion. Hey, it is what the teacher was telling us.

Möngöntsetseg -

The teacher exactly told us, you should develop your plan,

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Then he instructed us to do this and that, he told us everything. We attended that training…

Otgonchimeg -

Understood that, yes..

Möngöntsetseg -

In general…

Otgonchimeg -

It was that.

Möngöntsetseg -

But we were unaware of it. That is why we were very successful. I can not but praise ourselves.

Badamgerel -

So we ourselves…

Otgonchimeg -

have learned a lot of things. We are still learning awfully lot of things. It was not like that when were sitting at our homes.

Badamgerel -

It was not so.

Otgonchimeg -

Then no matter what if one does something and strives for it then you can achieve your goal,

Möngöntsetseg -

If we were at other places what would have been situation?

Otgonchimeg -

If it was a different place it would have very difficult.

Möngöntsetseg -

Before I had no idea where this or that thing can be found, what I can buy there, what was the price. There was that Puujee who was responsible for work outside of the Office.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We did not know the market. I had never been at the market. Since I started working with teacher I became to know what can be found in which corner of the Narantuul market, so I directly go there. When we first went to market I was completely lost and had no idea where I was going. Do you remember Otgoo and me for the first time went to the market to buy some dress.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Bagsh told us to buy dress for Otgoo so that she could wear them while working at the construction site. Teacher said to me buy low heel shoes, he was saying this as if he was instructing his child in a very pleasant manner. You should spend this money and buy clothes for Otgoo. So you should buy low heel shoes it would be easier for her walk up and down.

Otgonchimeg -

It was easy.

Möngöntsetseg -

He said the shoes should be convenient to wear and at the same time of good quality. So we went out and rushed to the market (1-01-05) And bought a pair of shoes, shoes and trousers.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, we bought shoes and trousers to wear at the construction site.

Möngöntsetseg -

Then Otgoo and me stood steadfastly at the construction.

Yes. From morning till 10 p.m.

Otgonchimeg -

At that time, we were very happy whenever our friends came. As if we were the most important (1-01-22) persons, trebly happy to see them.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. Otgoo and me...

Otgonchimeg -

It was very difficult to work with those ordinary workers, our relations were extremely strained. So since we have been attending courses of Buddhist teachings we restrained ourselves and stood our ground. And whenever, they came (our colleagues) we felt as if a powerful defense had arrived and were indeed very happy.

Tsevlee -

We visited them time and again. (1-01-35)

Otgonchimeg -

Well, then later everything got very nice, indeed very nice.

Möngöntsetseg -

Now we miss one another even if she left just for a day off.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, it is so.

Möngöntsetseg -

Recently when Munguu went to Beijing and spent a few days there, we all missed her a lot. Ha ha. Yes, even in my dream (in bed) I spoke to her.

Tsevlee -

When she came back, there was an upsurge of joy. Ha ha..

Möngöntsetseg -

I lied to them when found out that Munguu was back and did that. When they said that Munguu is coming now I told them Munguu called me today and said that she is returning only next week and they believed me. Then when she entered and moved upstairs our receptionist came running and yelling to inform that Munguu was back home. Then Otgoo who took what I told for the truth, did not believe that Munguu was back.

Otgonchimeg -

She said that we were lying

Möngöntsetseg -

Said we were lying.

Badamgerel -

Said we were lying.

Otgonchimeg -

Elder sister Munguu why don’t you tell about the Summer English language training.

Möngöntsetseg -

Oh yes, we have not spoken about it,

Badamgerel -

Yes, it is.

Otgonchimeg -

About English language training.

Möngöntsetseg -

Otgoo please tell about that..

Otgonchimeg -

Yes. It is one of the most important activities.

Möngöntsetseg -

Those children who attended the lessons explaining the teachings (of Buddha) were enrolled in the training.

Otgonchimeg -

Aan yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

Please speak about it.

Otgonchimeg -

The children who attend our lessons on Buddhist teachings do that. (1-02-48) Among the 10 year secondary school a subject on “Remembering benevolence of father and mother” is taught. So we enroll those children who attended lessons on the teaching in summer time English language training. Foreign disciples of the Renbouchi from Ireland and England arrive here and conduct the training. The children are classified according their age category or according to knowledge level and taught the language. It has a very profound influence. Yes. Last year I assume 4,5 people arrived, 2 from Ireland, a Briton and an American.

Möngöntsetseg -

One from England, one from USA, two persons arrived

Otgonchimeg -

6 Americans took the exams.

Möngöntsetseg -

Charlotte and Edwin are Britons, Victoria is an American,

Badamgerel -

Katrina

Möngöntsetseg -

Katrina is Irish, Wendi is Irish.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes so 5 persons arrived and taught the children (English). And they did that. This year they also taught children who did not study English last year. They also taught children who passed the primary stage, so English was taught at various levels. Those children who receive food here (at the centre) also attended the lessons. Then we noticed that the younger siblings of those children had also learned English quite well.

Tsevlee -

My child attended that lesson..

Otgonchimeg -

English lessons of the last year were very useful, (a child told me) that it was so useful that the child was considered as very good students (of English).

The child is an excellent student of his grade.

Since it was very effective my child also attended the lessons. He said that talking with English speakers his ears were wonderfully opened (he could comprehend very well). Also he could understand spoken English words very easily, he has become one of the good students in his grade. He said that his teacher considering him as good students had chosen him as a participant in (English language)contests. So teaching of English had a profound influence on the children.

Möngöntsetseg -

We are becoming very good in English.

Otgonchimeg -

At least we can say “How are you”.

Tsevlee -

Yes, we do

Badamgerel -

And can reply “I am fine”.

Möngöntsetseg -

When I spoke (in English) my children teased me saying that I came back learning to speak German. Ha ha.

Tsevlee -

You know the language better since you first taught us.

Badamgerel -

Now you two...did not mention the vegetable growing project we implement in Gachuurt.

Otgonchimeg -

The vegetable growing project in Gachuurt…

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, in implementing the gachuurt vegetable project we enrolled in it 20 families, in the first year 5 families, the following year 5 families altogether 10 families. This year we conducted training on vegetable cultivation, the project (1-05-03) was successful so we gave them spades and other tools as well as covers for green houses etc. Then an specialist in land farming, an agronomist came to help them starting from May, he worked during June, July, August, September, October and November we paid him for his work of 7 months.

Otgonchimeg -

Planting and fertilizing

Möngöntsetseg -

Fertilizing and planting the vegetables

Otgonchimeg -

They were taught to prepare foods from the vegetables all related subjects.

Möngöntsetseg -

The specialist showed himself everything, showed how to prepare foods the afterwards how pickle (preserve) the vegetables.

Otgonchimeg -

Then we visited the families, checked were there poor families with difficult life, and saw personally who was really poor, and they helped us doing this check very much.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, they did help. With assistance of the Government Ireland we made a complete renovation and repaired the roof of the kindergarten in Gachuurt and the rooms by one by one.

Otgonchimeg -

By the assistance

Tsevlee -

By the assistance

Möngöntsetseg -

It was done by the assistance and two classrooms which were not used before are now repaired and used, the children over there

Otgonchimeg -

During summer...

Möngöntsetseg -

It was very successful and people heard about it, today, for example, the manager of the kindergarten No. 147 called to our centre and asked to establish contacts. I told that if the parents of your children would attend our congregations then we may have contacts. There is a need at beginning to work with the parents for a while.

Otgonchimeg -

After changing [their attitude]

Möngöntsetseg -

Then we could take the next step but they want us to help them straight way. ..

Otgonchimeg -

oh yeah

Möngöntsetseg -

So I thought it is better from the beginning to think about…

Otgonchimeg -

If their frame of mind becomes good and then they can make a better use of the assistance.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. I explained from the point view of conscience.

Otgonchimeg -

And there is a ger kindergarten of vegetarian food.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. In winter the residents of Gachuurt are unable to send their children to kindergarten situated in the centre (of the district) because of the distance. So we opened three ger kindergartens, one is working in Shar khooloi, the other two nearer to this side at western and eastern hills.

Otgonchimeg -

It is called Bayndouhom and what is the other,

Möngöntsetseg -

The name didn’t come to my mind.

Otgonchimeg -

The places are located far from the centre. (1-07-13) Therefore, it is difficult for the children during winter to attend their schools.

Möngöntsetseg -

So we are planning now to implement in Gachuurt a different policy. When every family has a small plot and grow vegetables in their fenced compounds and in addition to it our people are not used to growing and consuming vegetables, whenever they encounter a minor difficulty, they perceive oh, vegetable growing is an awfully difficult undertaking. The most important difficulty is the irrigation, since the wells are far away, they are reluctant to fetch water for irrigation constantly and because of this problem they consider it a very difficult work. So we pondered what is the best way out of the situation and came to the conclusion that it would better if we would have big plot for training and bring the ails (families) to that plot of land and also to dig a well over there. And cultivate vegetables there, since water is there, irrigated permanently the vegetables will grow before their eyes, and when they start eating some of the vegetables and sell the remainder, eventually they will be interested in vegetable growing, once there is the interest they will be ready to grow vegetables within their fenced compounds notwithstanding the difficulties. I thought this might be the better path to follow and now we are preparing the documents to take (own) a plot of land for vegetable plantation.

Byambajav -

Aa, you are right, right.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. Then, generally, until now we have been subsisting on foreign assistance and financial resources of teacher Rinpoche, as if we are living for someone else. Now, we must work more actively and display more ingenuity and initiative to make the centre stand firmly on its feet financially, we are discussing this matter among ourselves.

Otgonchimeg -

An haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

What we want now is to find internal financial resources, to have certain amount of turnover capital, we are thinking over the issue how can we put this centre firmly on its foot, specially in terms of financial resources.

Otgonchimeg -

I think we skipped some facts speaking about the Undurshil felt art training. The reason for that there is no work place over there. There is not a single factory or shop. Undurshil of Dundgovi aimag is a remote place. So after we have organised training those who finished the training are making different products from felt such as slippers. Badmaa knows about it very well. I don’t know the names of those products, the names I don’t know. Those who studied in our training course produce different items, bring them to us and when they receive money for the products, it means that their work was successful. Since, there is no work place and nothing else by earning some money, they get, no matter how insignificant, an opportunity to improve their livelihood. Of course, it would be nice if there were more improvement. Then we, of course, have wonderful ideas for the future, we are thinking how we can help the people to get up on their feet, to earn their livelihood, forget poverty, get some education and be able to take care of themselves, to take care of others, if we could do it would wonderful, many ideas on what we could do come our minds, but we can not realize those nice ideas. (1-10-02) Then teacher Renbouchi and Gevsh teacher since they themselves saw everything by their own eyes come forward with a number of new ideas, we take up their ideas and participate in their implementation, that is why we do more in that direction.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. Now we have reached the conclusion that the most important thing is to work directly with the person concerned, aren’t we.

Otgonchimeg -

Aa haan.

Möngöntsetseg -

To work in person

Byambajav -

To work on aspects of conscience (mind) rather than material aspects.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, on intellectual, spiritual aspects, yes. That is our main goal.

Otgonchimeg -

When there is a change of conscience that person would wish to work and come to us. When the person comes to work we can give a sewing machine or something else.

Möngöntsetseg -

We give support and help on one thing

Otgonchimeg -

When you give support

Badamgerel -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

That person will carry on doing the job and thus the person’s livelihood is guaranteed, he/she will take good care of their children.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

It really happens..

Tsevlee -

Yes, it is so.

Möngöntsetseg -

Mind.

Badamgerel -

Mind is very important.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

When a person’s attitude is careful and measured and it is very pleasant

Otgonchimeg -

Then it is better to turn your attention to children. We have to work with the children of kindergarten and we feel that there is a need to change a bit the attitudes of their teachers as well.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes, it is so, Ha ha

Otgonchimeg -

May be it will be good if the teachers were to attend our lectures and afterward could tell the children this is the right way of living, this is the right thing to do, this is the wrong thing to do. Then…

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes

Otgonchimeg -

Children who were brought up as a good person from the kindergarten years after entering the 10 year school …

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Will behave good, they’ll become even better when they enter the institutes.

This way they will take the right path from the kindergarten and eventually follow that road by themselves. There will be no need of our assistance and support, they go on their own way.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

The main reason why children like very much kindergartens and rush to it saying kindergarten, kindergarten lies in it. And working with children is highly rewarding, if we make our children good and righteous persons then after all children will lead in future the entire Mongolian people(toward a better future). This way one thing emanates from the other.

Möngöntsetseg -

We will start from our future.

Otgonchimeg -

I think starting from our future is a wonderful thing.

Tsevlee -

Wonderful.

Möngöntsetseg -

We have a lot of work to accomplish at our hands now and to continue in future.

Otgonchimeg -

Huge amount of work, a person should have general education, this is what a person needs, then knowledge of economy as well as economic potential (тэгээд эдийн засгийн өрөө, эдийн засгийн өрөө хүч чадалтай байх?) if one pays attention to these three issues then they can earn their living without difficulty. Therefore, we concentrate our attention on these main directions. We think that children should not become simply consumers of food, they should be capable of working, capable of intellectual exercise and making decisions for this we are working as much as we can. We hope that we can see the result at some later stage.

Tsevlee -

Yes.

Otgonchimeg -

Well, what can I say, there are people who have already made the beginning, yes.

Badamgerel -

Yes, they know how to contact with a person, those unruly children who after coming to receive food used to fight, now…

Otgonchimeg -

When I look back and think over I have been learning a lot from them and actually I am making a living thanks to them, we are making a living thanks to those poor and destitute people. It is important that all those who are doing good for the Mongolian people, Renbouchi teacher who receives assistance from Ireland and those who establish contacts among themselves and support each other give strength to live. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to you all. What can I say at the end of the interview. The most important thing is that I am very happy. Will you also tell yours impressions.

Möngöntsetseg -

In general, we told everything about what we have been doing.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We spoke briefly and clearly...we left nothing, aren’t we.

Otgonchimeg -

No, I don’t think we left anything untold. Now our interview is coming to the end.

Möngöntsetseg -

So I would like to express our appreciation for choosing our centre and taking an interview from us for this pilot project. I think this is the very first interview we are giving since we started our activities.

Otgonchimeg -

Yes, it is the first interview.

Möngöntsetseg -

Yes. That is why we are very happy. Well, then, we’ll continue this activities of ours from the bottom of our heart.

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Möngöntsetseg -

We’ll do our utmost

Otgonchimeg -

I think I’ll exert all my efforts.

Möngöntsetseg -

I am full of sincere aspirations to continue.

Badamgerel -

Well, I express deep thanks to Byambaa. Ha, ha.

Byambajav -

Aa. Thank you indeed for giving me this interview Аа. I wish great success in your future activities.

Möngöntsetseg -

We also wish you success.

Otgonchimeg -

Wish you success.

Byambajav -

Thank you. (1-13-49)

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Interviews, transcriptions and translations provided by The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia, University of Cambridge. Please acknowledge the source of materials in any publications or presentations that use them.