Yes, it happened. Five people from Hong Kong arrived in Chifeng to see the schools plus a side trip to Daban. The teachers scrubbed the school, washing the glass doors twice, all eager to meet someone who might replace me when I leave. One of the “political directors” in this area horned in on the party, uninvited, and then shepherded the foreigners (I guess they think Hong Kong is foreign) around. No attempt was made to be discreet about this. Clearly they thought our Chinese visitors were somehow foreign agents for overthrow or who knows what.
including a “Yurt Farm” obviously kept in prime condition strictly for tourists.
I found it amusing – professional Mongolians, professional housewife and dog and professional horses. The new yurts were interesting though; they were done in brick covered in plaster and then painted a brilliant white.
All this smothering attention to Chinese visitors had me curious until I read online news regarding protests in Southern China over shoddy school construction (which is the rule) so the political types are increasingly wobbly about their ability to rule. I can imagine managing some foreigners, but watching Chinese from Hong Kong? Makes you wonder. There have been police clamp downs on Bibles in registered churches in Inner Mongolia, places where legally restrictions are in place. But we are increasingly learning that legal is only an ad hoc local term applied as seen
Unfortunately no Hong Kong teacher will come. And the future distribution of the Mongolian Bibles is in the planning stage too but the van arrived, and it seats a large group – more skinny Chinese than beefy Americans of course – and we have a number of churches who want more scriptures. That is top priority because we know the Bible in and of itself has the power to change lives. In fact we are counting on that since we have so few people for such a huge area.
Follow-Up While in the Chicago airport I heard some people speaking in Mongolian. I turned towards the man in the crowd to tell him that I had been followed in China because people thought I was part of the Mongolian dissidents who wanted a return of their lands. I assured him I had no involvement but I was curious about this movement. He mumbled an answer and after a few people left the elevator I looked around and he and his companions were gone. Clearly, there is an underground movement. This is not surprising. Asians have very long memories. Mongolians have a great deal of patience but I doubt they will ever be satisfied until their land, probably the oldest civilization on earth, has been returned.