[singlepic[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-f0TY1FtbdVQ/Uo-FED7JeEI/AAAAAAAADj8/NLIr7SXN6i0/s144-c-o/PICT0029.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/115125141620359735160/Mongolia02?locked=true#5949119937599076418″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”PICT0029.JPG” ]
=476,75,100,,left] “Whoa that’s awesome Jon, you’re going to write about how you spend all your time sitting at a desk staring at a computer while rarely updating the photos and posts with cool stuff about Mongolia, which is really why I am here”.
[singlepic=253,75,100,,left]Well believe me I don’t do it as often as other people, and to be honest the rest of my time is mainly spent in strange Mongolia bars and discos, or reading at home.
Anyways that’s about to end as this is my last month and I’ve got lots of great stuff planned. I would like to mention, however, two projects that I’ve recently completed, that I’m sort of proud of, and let you know that I’ve wrapped up my work out here and am feeling pretty good about it.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-fE6qn4MXmbM/Uqi_HdECfrI/AAAAAAAAEhU/-2k0Qr1p6RQ/s144-c-o/wwwequalstepcentreorg_p_600.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/115125141620359735160/Mongolia02?locked=true#5956220641979039410″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”wwwequalstepcentreorg_p_600.jpg” ]
This is the website for the Equal Step Centre childrens’ charity (mentioned earlier), which works with UB’s street children. I did the theme (CSS and HTML coding, Photoshop) and got it hosted using Blogger blog software. This is by far the easiest, cheapest and most accessibly way of getting content online for small NGO’s with limited technical resources. For $10 a year and using some nifty “hacks”, the Blogger platform can be used to produce a traditional (Web 1.0) “Brochure/Information” site, that is fairly flexible and very easy to use. The site still needs some pictures added and content editing, and hopefully my efforts to make it sustainable will give it at least a few years of service, before they can upgrade to something better. Check it out and maybe donate to the cause in the future (still working on this functionality!).
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-O2RSkcVHPr8/Uqi_ipPwSAI/AAAAAAAAEhc/DXtG9p0XKg8/s144-c-o/wwwmongolianwomenfarmersorg.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/115125141620359735160/Mongolia02?locked=true#5956221109105870850″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”wwwmongolianwomenfarmersorg.jpg” ]
This is exactly the same sort of deal (Blogger based website) for a different NGO, VSO is partnered with. I think they’re doing some amazing work in the urban-farming area that people in the West could really learn from. This site is setup to be pseudo-bilingual and the Mongolian page will (hopefully) feature weekly farming related news and updates to help local farmers get there plants started on time. Also, for anyone interested in sustainable, eco-tourism in Mongolia, the Tourism page provides some information about coming to the farm to stay in a Ger tent and do some gardening and other work. Check it out!
For both these sites, the goals were low cost, ease of use, and sustainability, but only time will tell how well they progress. Of the other stuff I had planned to get done before I left: trainings with staff, another website project, and a few other consulting projects; most of it was carried through as far as I could and hopefully will serve as the start for future positive changes.
Now for some plans for the rest of May:
May 8-18th: I will be in Coimbatore and Delhi, India, kicking it with my brother Manny and on my own, hopefully taking lots of pictures and posting some posts.
May 20-28th: I will be going to the Gobi dessert for a 7 day trip to see the sand dunes, the singing hills, the flaming cliffs and whatever else crazy stuff they have goin on down there.
May 28-June 1st: I will be in UB wrapping things up and buying some souvenirs (for you maybe!)
June 2-3rd: I’ll be making my way back to Vancouver (the long way round via London, because it’s somehow cheaper ?!).