Elijah goes to kindergarten

by sumpteretc

Well, today Elijah began school at the public kindergarten next to our apartment. He’s doing well with his homeschooling and is learning all that we want him to learn, but he doesn’t have a lot of friends, particularly Mongolian ones. I understand the homeschooling arguments about socialization, but in our context, he just wasn’t having enough outside time to really build healthy relationships.

So, a couple weeks ago, Tiffany met with the kindergarten director to see about enrolling Elijah at the school. The director didn’t seem particularly enthused by the idea nor by our intentions to pick Elijah up each day at 1:00, but she consented. Tiffany sat in on the classroom where Elijah would be attending and was satisfied with what she saw.

To enroll Elijah, we had to take him for a medical exam. We were told to go to the district 10th health center. We weren’t sure where that was, so Tiffany and I went wandering around on Monday. We asked a number of people and got a number of directions, some right, some wrong. Finally, we found the place. The receptionist looked at us like we were crazy. Why are you here? Do you have a card? You need to go to your family hospital. Hmm, our family hospital? Where is that? The receptionist gave us a phone number. We weren’t sure who we were calling, so we had a friend call and we found out the building number of the microdistrict family hospital. Then some more wandering. Finally, we found it and got the “card,” i.e. prescriptions for a urine test and a “white worm” test.

Tuesday, Elijah and I braved the terrible cold to walk the half hour or so back to the health center. It was about 10:45 when we arrived. (Hardly anything in Mongolia opens before 10 or 11.) The receptionist took a look at the prescriptions and said, “You’re late. You have to come before 9.” So the cold trek home and repeated on Wednesday. Anyway, it eventually all got done, and he’s in school.