Excuses aside, here's a look at what children's day looked like up at the Peak. Our celebration happened a couple of days before the official Children's day on June 1st so that the chldren and teachers would be able to spend time with their own families as it is a BIG deal here in Mongolia. We took advantage of the day to celebrate the achievement of our 3rd graduating class at the Children of the Peak Sanctuary Kindergarten. There were the usual songs and dance from the children. Awards were awards, certificates distributed, teachers thanked and special guests entertained. There were over 50 children who graduated, but about 10 of them had been with us for three years That means they were part of that first crazy day all the way back when that was full of crazy crying children . That first day when the professional teachers promised by the Government didn't show up. That first day when accountants, cleaners, visitors, assistant teacher and drivers all juggled crying babies and tried to distract them and make them smile. That day when no one had any idea of what was coming - least of all the children.
It was beautiful and bitter sweet for me to see this group graduate. This is the last first. This was wonderful to see them all smiling and happy. To see them dressed up in their Sunday best and holding hands and skipping around arm in arm. It was wonderful to get their hugs and to be able to give them best wishes for what promises to be a brighter future for them all. I gave me a huge lump in my throat when "Cheeks" threw his arms around me and when Batmunkh gave me the sweetest of all sweet smiles and thanked me for the kindergarten. ... Batmunkh who came to the kindergarten complete with swinging fists, very active kicking feet and teeth that were happy to chomp on anyone who got in his way. Batmunkh who brought us Jijig Altai, a gentle caring grandma from the dump who was his teacher's aide and who kept the other children safe for the 3 weeks it took him to settle and learn that kindergarten was fun. Jijig Altai who is now one of our assistant teachers and has a home, security and a job with benefits.
These children were the fabric that made up the beginning of the work. They were the first installation on what we hope will be a long and colourful bolt of material. There were jagged corners and rough edges at the beginning but those have smoothed out now. The fabric is looking wonderful, happy and optimistic. Thank you to the children and families that made up that first group. I'm happy to call many of you friends now an I am so excited to see what is ahed for these children and all of their friends who "graduated" with them.
And thank you to all of you whose ongoing generosity has made it possible for these children to have this opportunity. We truly could not do it without you all!!