Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pay it forward

A while ago, when I was just beginning to discover the world of teacher blogs, I saw an awesome "Pay it forward" idea.  A preschool (or kindergarten) group/class would post three other preschools a small package that represented their country, or the area that they lived, and in return the recipient would send on packages to three other preschools.  I just thought this was such a fantastic idea, but was missing one essential requirement- a blog.

So, when I recently saw this delightful idea again being presented by Lesley Romanoff of the wonderful Takoma Park Nursery School (and now that I had actually finally got blogging) I signed up to join in the fun. 

Children in Mongolia have very little idea about mail as it is always delivered to PO Boxes, and of course not everybody has one of those.  You can imagine that if you were a Mongolian nomad living in a ger, getting mail delivered to your "address" is just not an option really... "To: Enkbayar, somewhere on the steppes... Mongolia"  Even in the city mail being delivered to homes is a very new concept.  So, for my children, this was quite a foreign idea.  One that was quite pleasing to them though!

We got out the map and looked at the world.  We, in Ulaanbaatar, were all the way on the other side of the map from Takoma Park Nursery in the United States.  What a long way!

We had a little mail box over in the USA, a Post Office in Mongolia and a big plane to help us try to understand this idea of the journey of our package.  How exciting that it travelled on a plane, across nations and oceans, to arrive to us here!

 The children were well impressed with the treasures they discovered within... pins and pamphlets, a flag and some postcards, a map of Washington DC and a beautiful book about the cherry blossom festival, as well as a picture of our lovely new friends who sent us this fantastic package. 

We ooed and ahhed over the beautiful flowers we found in the book- it made us even more excited for the arrival of spring here! 

We learned that there are lots of interesting buildings in Washington DC...

 We counted the presidents...

We marvelled at the map, and talked about different kinds of maps: maps of the world (like ours), maps of countries, and maps of cities...

We examined the brochures...

We waved our new flag...

And we admired our new friends....

All in all we were DELIGHTED by this wonderful package and the exciting new ideas, learning and understandings it brought with it. 

After probably at least 10 pictures, this one was still the best... J

So now it is our turn... and yours!  If you would like to play AND are willing to PAY IT FORWARD from your own blog, here's what you need to do:
Leave a comment on this post letting me know you'd like to play and I'll randomly choose three participants. You can be from anywhere in the world, but must have a blog.

The rules are as follows:
  • The three participants will receive a package reflecting Mongolia- doesn't that sound exciting?!  Don't know where it is?  Look it up!  We are between Russia and China J
  • You must be willing to PAY IT FORWARD to three more people/bloggers.
  • When chosen, you need to send me your postal address so I can you send your package.
  • After you receive your package, you will need to PAY IT FORWARD in the same way on your blog.
  • Comments will remain open until the end of this month (May 31st, 2012)
So, what are you waiting for?  Let's pay it forward!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The reason why I am here...

In my last post I wrote about small treasures, and finding things to remind me that it is good to be here in Mongolia.  Well, there's one thing that I forgot to add.... and that is actually the reason why I AM here! 

They say a picture paints a thousand words...

All I have to do is look at these pictures, into the faces of these precious children, to see thousands of reasons for my being here.

I am here, and it is good.