Our home in space

Guy Ottewell

Liberal Women's Brain Pool

In Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, I visited the small office of the Liberal Women's Brain Pool, because a friend who worked for the National Endowment for Democracy had asked me to visit and see whether gifts to this organization were being well used. The liberal women said they would take me on an outing to some other province — where would I like to go? — I didn't know, so they took me to the nearest, to Zuun Mod, capital of Tov Aimag. We visited library, cooperative, a yurt, and the office of the governor, Mr. Namsrain Galbadrakh, who as he sat at the head of a table with me on his right and a lady interpreter at his left made a speech in long sections, to each of which I had to make a speech in reply. He presented me with an earthenware snuff-bottle moulded with the Mongolian symbols for happiness and long life.