Well, I've taken up knitting. I am throwing my mittens in the kitty for the Dulaan Project, an effort to supply warm, well-made clothing to Mongolian children spear headed by FIRE, the Flagstaff International Relief Effort, Mossy Cottage, Knits, and the Kunzang Palyul Choling Buddhist community of Sedona Arizona. 'Dulaan' means 'warm', they say. Not just 'warm' like 'toasty- cozy', but 'warm' like 'kind'.
When one thinks of Mongolia, one sees, perhaps, shepherd ghers on a vast and grassy steppe in the spanking wind under a bottomless sky, Silk Roads and silver, shaggy ponies and galloping hordes. Like parts of Kansas,one thinks, but with really awful Soviet architecture all buried under mounds of mutton. One would be pretty close to right about all of those things, but might need to add to that bright and windy vision, that, in December and January, just before the spring time dust storms, the temperature plummets to a lunar - 30 degrees. One might also fail to toss into the mix homeless Mongolians huddled in the subterranean heating ducts of Ulan Bataar for months. Dreaded "dzud' disaster blizzards so brutal and relentless they freeze shepherds' eye-balls and kill not just the sheep and dogs, but the wolves.
In knit-ins across this country and possibly others, the Dulaan Project is supplying warming, even life-saving, mittens, scarves, hats, tuques, baclavas, afghans, and sweaters.
42% mountainous and .7% arable, this is no place to be without a scarf.