A Great Time to Be in Mongolia

Last week I met with the director of a Mongolian foundation, and I left energized and looking forward to getting to know my new home over the next couple of years.

I loved hearing this Mongolian talk about how we are experiencing a pivotal moment in history for Mongolia. He told me there is a new energy among the Mongolians, and he feels the decisions made now will direct the path that the country will follow for generations. Most of us arriving in Mongolia realize that this is a cool time to be here, but it’s just different to hear it from a Mongolian.

For those of you who don’t know, Mongolia is a newish democracy with an insane amount of natural resources that are just beginning to be mined. There are only 3 million citizens, and, for many, the culture is rapidly changing from the ancient and long-lasting tradition of nomadic herding to a more urban lifestyle that is still taking shape.

I have heard Mongolia described as the last frontier and compared to the old wild west. I see it more as the beginning of a new era, hopefully a good one, and I’m excited to be here and see the history unfold.

Side note: I also learned a UB fact that I find crazy interesting — The city is designed so that every building is on a central heating grid. The heat that keeps the city warm during the long winter, with lows regularly -40° F, comes from a giant underground system that delivers steam heat generated by a single power plant outside of town. I would not have imagined. One of the infrastructure problems facing the city: Half of the city’s 1.5 million residents live in ger distrcts not connected to the existing grid, the power plant is near or at capacity, and it seems like new building projects are popping up all over town.

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