Monkhbaiyir: Buryat Pianist

I met Monkhbaiyir, left, through my friend Zorigtkhuu, far right. Maral-Erdene in lavender, and Ganbaatar join us in a game of Phase 10 at a local java joint.

Tonight I received a great gift. Monkhbaiyir who I just met this evening told me he was a pianist and music teacher at a local school here in UB. (Ulan-Bator) I asked Monkhbaiyir if I could get an album of his music. Instead he said, “Come with me to my school right now, and I will play for you.” So, Zorigtkhuu who also teaches at the school, and I went with Monkhbaiyir to the top floor, turned on the lights to the music room, and thus started our impromptu concert.

Monkhbaiyir and his muse.

Monkhbaiyir’s Playlist:

  • Chopin’s Second Nocturne
  • Bach’s Preludio II
  • Mozart’s Eighth Sonata
  • Two of Monkhbaiyir’s pieces, one entitled “Thought”, the other untitled.
  • Zhantchannorov’s “I Want to Love You”
  • Khangal’s “Migrating Birds”

The last two names on the list are famous Mongolian composers. How marvelous it was to sit in reverie listening to the influence of the steppe on their musical compositions. You never know what priceless offering you may receive on the steppe. Monkhbaiyir’s gift leaves me speechless.

David Speaks

Gillian and David count together.

Here in Ulaanbaatar, one of my sister’s fellow English teachers is also a Speech therapist. When she found out I would be stuck in Mongolia until the end of March, she asked if I would do speech therapy with a four-year old Mongolian boy who was adopted a year and a half ago by an American doctor here. He had a cleft pallet, and has already had three surgeries to repair it. I thought that would be a fine thing to do, and so, David and I meet everyday! David is a very hard worker. We do speech drills intermingled with games to keep things lively. We practice making s, sh, g, k, t, and th sounds together. It is difficult, but David is a real trooper. He likes things orderly, so I always draw up a plan, which he can then cross out as we finish each part! Sometimes he gets stickers for his hard work. Picking stickers is serious business, David takes his time and studiously examines the stickers finding just the right one. David makes progress everyday. He is a blessing for me, giving me the opportunity to serve someone each day.

Four grrrrreen cattsss in the bag!

The fish game is our favorite! It helps properly form sounds.

The very serious business of sticker selection.