Mongolia 1999

11 Leaders and 30 Venturers travelled to Mongolia for BEG’s 1999 Expedition.

The Expedition included:

Travel: Flight to Beijing, 5th July 1999, then travel to Ulan Bator by Trans Siberian Railway.

Community Phase: a project to benefit the street children of Ulan Bator. Renovation of a children’s centre in Ulan Bator and fitting out the basement of an Office building as a youth drop in centre.

Social Phase: a comparison of life styles of our venturers with Mongolian youngsters of similar ages.

Return: Flight to Beijing, a visit to the Great Wall of China the Summer Palace and Forbidden City, onward flight home approx 4th August 1999.

The Expedition largely managed to achieve all the aims of the Social and Community phases, but on the 24th of July, four of our Venturers were involved in a very serious road accident. This accident resulted in the death of one of our Venturers, Colin Bryans from Duns.

The untimely death of Colin, a very talented, friendly and kind young lad, the injuries, some serious, to the three other Venturers in the accident, and the effect which this tragic loss had on every member of the Group in Mongolia, was predominant in our decision to shorten the expedition and return home as soon as practicable.

More information will be added to this page about the Mongolia Expedition, later.

In Memory of

Colin Steven Bryans

31/7/81 – 24/7/99

Our time in Mongolia during the first two weeks involved working on two Community projects. The first of these was at a Children’s home where we were trying to renovate two bedrooms. The work here consisted of ripping out the od floor, packing down the earth and laying a new concrete floor. Then we could paint the walls, the roof and the radiators. We also made and fitted new curtains so that the rooms would be much more attractive looking.

A Venturer’s Report: Training Weekend 4

Had any of us asked our parents if we could voluntarily camp out in sub zero
temperatures in the name of fun, they would have thought we were insane.
Yet that was exactly how the forty or so venturers and leaders training to
go to Mongolia with Borders Exploration Group spent the weekend of the 5th
– 7th February 1999.

It all seemed innocent enough when we arrived at Newmill hall on Friday night,
little did we know what lay ahead!

That evening was spent planning the routes which we were to walk on the Saturday,
and dishing out the equipment and food which we had to carry, before a rather
noisy night on the hall floor due to the many and varied snores from all
around.

After a beautiful but very cold start on Saturday the cloud came down, but
thankfully all the walkers made it back safely and in good time after a whistle
stop tour of some if the more popular walking spots in the area. Sites visited
included Acreknowe, Penchrise, the disused railway line, and Skelfhill, finishing
at Priesthaugh farm. By 8pm, all anyone wanted to do was fall into their
sleeping bags, but the night was not yet over by any means. The campfire
singsong was kept going by the few members with apparently boundless energy
while the rest shivered in the background, contributing a few half hearted
choruses now and then. But the biggest shock to the system was the fire drill
at 3am; I’m sure the leader who thought up that one will be trying very hard
to keep their whereabouts secret!!

It was up early again on Sunday to break camp before an “emergency scenario”
exercise which can be summed up by one word: FREEZING. Despite this it was
definitely a worthwhile event which I think everyone learned a lot from,
drawing together skills acquired on previous weekends like river crossing
and emergency first aid. All in all it was probably one of the hardest but
also most enjoyable weekends so far, with a great deal of effort shown by
everyone: leaders, venturers, training team and all the other people who
helped out. WELL DONE!!

Ruth Norman

Mongolia Revisited – 2004

20th July 2004, Ian and Jim have been to Mongolia with the intention of visiting the drop In Centre,
Timullel childrens home and refurbishing the cairn we left as a memorial to Colin Bryans.

So far we have over 300 photos, a lot of news and we look forward to letting you all kmow what progress has
been made.

Below are some of the photos. The Timullel centre has moved to the outskirts of Ulaan Baatar, they are in a
smaller space, but it is owned rather than leased and they have already built a small house there.

The "Drop In" Centre is now up and working, we visited on a Saturday afternoon. In one room, there
was a group of youngsters working on Computers (Using Spreadsheets!!) while in a second room another group were
involved in English Language lessons.