Blankets 4 Mongolia 2008
by Barry Jiggins OAM
Last year Yoko sent me 5000 badges to share with schoolchildren in Australia who helped me collect blankets for Mongolians.
I organized the Magical Mongolian Blanket Bus as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of their Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, as well as being a practical way of collecting and moving blankets down the east coast of Queensland.
A chronology of our project can be found at www.blankets4mongolia.com
As it turned out I had many badges to spare and decided to share them with Mongolian children from the Gobi Desert who I met just recently whilst delivering blankets for Mongolian hospitals and schools etc. Please find 2 messages which describe my recent trip to Mongolia, and which hopefully show that Peace can be Imagined and made real.
These delivery pictures were all taken in the Gobi Desert between Oct 9 and Oct 11, 2008. The truck which I accompanied for this distribution is also seen being packed in Ulaan Baatar on Oct 2. The distance between the UB storage and the nearest Gobi soum (village) to receive blankets during the trip, is 800km.
These pics are from my recent visit to Mongolia - in fact some blankets had already been distributed before I arrived, and many more will continue to be distributed over the next 3 to 6 months ... it is not such an easy thing to organise:) For instance, the Bayangovi hospital which triggered my 1st collection, is now very well stocked with blankets, sheets and pillows. Their supply was topped up in
July so there was no need to deliver more blankets to the hospital. We instead were planning more blankets for the soum dormitory, but the unexpected participation of my Mongolian friend and partner Bodio, in the Bayangovi local election meant that he could not be seen to be delivering gifts until after election day, so .... Anyway, he won the election and I now have a government contact in Mongolia who is there for the right reasons!
Therefore these pics include the kindergarten and school dorm at Shinejinst soum, the kindergarten (Qantas blankets draped over teachers) and school dorm at Bayan-Undur soum, and the kindergarten and school at Bayanlig soum. The drivers ha already delivered blankets to Jinst and Bogd soums before I caught up with them in Bayangovi. Bayanlig is the home of the young girl whose picture inspired me to start the ball rolling in 2003 -she became my poster girl and I caught up with her again this trip - very special for me!
Of course also, we delivered 'Imagine Peace' badges to the school kids at Bayanlig and Bayangovi, and those special pics are coming soon - only a select group of schools in Mongolia and Queensland received these gifts from Yoko Ono. Oct 9 was of course the 68th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, and on the same day as we 'made warm not war!' in Bayanlig, a statue of the Fab Four was unveiled in Ulaan Baatar.
Thank you to everyone ...
...but the Magical Mongolian Tour continues ...