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There is a very possible redirection of our upcoming move to Mongolia. Originally, we were expecting to live and work in Ulaanbaatar, but it actually looks very likely that we will be moving to Erdenet instead. The second largest city in Mongolia with a population of ~100,000, Erdenet is also the capital of the Orkhon province and is north-west-west of UB. As far as settlements go, Erdenet is very young in comparison to the rest of the country as it only got started in the 1970s when copper was discovered in the region. (This is actually quite young considering Mongolia dates back to the 13th century and earlier.)
The copper mines contribute to the local economy and make the city relatively middle class. Erdenet is also at a lower elevation than UB and slightly warmer, although not by much. A few additional facts that I’ve gleaned from my internet searches:
- There is a large Buddha statue on the outskirts of the town as well as a Buddhist monastery to the northeast of the city.
- Besides the copper mines, there is also a carpet factory which makes wool carpets.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information about Mongolia online in general and even less about Erdenet. I will keep up my searches, however, and post when I find out anything new.
If everything continues to go according to current plans, Eric and I will be joining a veteran teacher to form a smaller teaching team in Erdenet, which will be nice for us to know another expat who also knows something of the country, culture, and language. In addition to the new location, we may no longer be teaching in a local university–even though there is higher education in Erdenet. Instead, we will likely be teaching high schoolers. Either way, we are excited to have a few more certainties to stand on in regards to this big change.