Friday night we went to The Asia Foundation’s party to celebrate their 20th anniversary in Mongolia; more information and some really gorgeous photos are available here. It was quite the gala: almost 500 people in the ballroom of the Ulaanbaatar Hotel, from national and city government, foreign embassies*, NGOs and business. For us, it was a great opportunity to meet people, and I even talked to a young Mongolian man who’d recently graduated from my alma mater. (He could be a good work contact for me, too, if he doesn’t mind that I don’t care AT ALL about the athletic success of our university’s teams.)
The program included a lot of recognition of the government officials and civil society representatives who have partnered with The Asia Foundation over the years, which meant it was a good introduction to a range of local players and their projects. Also featured were two folk music groups, who performed in front of a slide show of scenes from the Mongolian landscape. Camel trekking across the Gobi desert! And now I’ve heard Mongolian throat singing!