Friday, March 09, 2012

Still following her dream: from Mongolian Siberia to Washington, D.C.

The announcer's voice cracked as she introduced Urangoo. And for good reason. For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Urangoo, the Mongolian circus girl, hers is a story of dogged determination in pursuit of a dream, even in the face of poverty and a terribly tragic loss. 

After Urangoo's parents chose to take a leap of faith and pursue their six-year-old daughter's dream to work in the circus as a contortionist, the father was robbed and murdered. He'd been panning for gold in the Mongolian mines, and had only wanted to collect enough gold to pay for Urangoo's circus costume. (For more on Urangoo's story, click here.)

Urangoo, sitting on her father's lap, Bat-Erdene

It was this story that the announcer alluded to on Friday night March 2 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where Urangoo was about to perform. She'd been flown to America by Ed Nef of Santis Productions, who has produced a film on the mining sector in Mongolia. Described as a "rising star" in the competitive world of Mongolian circus contortion, Urangoo definitely would not disappoint her standing-room-only crowd.

Approaching the stage, she affixed two miniature crutches to a platform. Turning upside down, Urangoo then balanced her entire body weight on the wobbling crutches. And, for good measure, she wrapped her toes around her face to touch her nose. But that wasn't all. Dismounting, she removed the two crutches, and replaced them with what looked like a giant Q-tip. On top of the giant Q-tip, which Urangoo put into her mouth, she balanced, inverted, and contorted backwards. Confused? Me too. Watch the video above!

But back in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, Urangoo's mother is sick. And that's why I'm writing again today. As many of you know by now, Oyunbadam may have a brain tumor, but could not afford an MRI, or any specialty treatment. In the past month, several of you have made generous donations to Oyunbadam's family. For that, they thank you - deeply. With $810 on its way to Mongolia from donors from Singapore to Cincinnati and New York, Oyunbadam will be able to afford an MRI. 

Better still, a few of us who have been following Urangoo and her mother's story are trying to put together a fundraiser in NYC for the family. I'll keep you posted! If you're out of town, and still want to help, share this story. As KONY 2012 has proven, "Nothing is more powerful than an idea," and change is just one person - you - away.

Urangoo, now 13, says "bayarlaa", or 'thank you!' on Friday Mar 2 at The Kennedy Center