MBDP is very pleased to announce our newest team member- Bec Stubley! Drawing on her previous experience in marketing and PR, Bec will be a valued part of the project, helping us to communicate our work and mission. We sat down with her earlier this week to learn more about her move to Mongolia.
Where are you from?
I am from Perth, Western Australia. I grew up in a coastal town about an hour south of Perth City. I was lucky to spend my high school years in a house a short walk from a beautiful, quiet beach.
What brought you to Mongolia?
I moved to Mongolia in October 2017 with my husband. He was offered a contract abroad and neither of us had been to Mongolia before so we were up for the adventure.
What did you know about Mongolia before you moved here?
We didn’t know a lot about Mongolia before moving here. It’s not somewhere I had really considered visiting in the past. My only knowledge of Mongolia was of Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan as they say here in Mongolia) from history and movies. I had to find out where the country was located, the currency and even the language of Mongolia to be able to answer all the questions I was getting from family and friends before leaving.
What has been the most unexpected aspect of moving here?
I spend most of my time in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar (UB) and I think the most unexpected thing was the COLD! I had heard that the temperature can get down to -40C but I could never have imagined that kind of cold. I had never seen snow before being in Mongolia! It’s the kind of cold that makes your eyes water and fingers sting. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to get all the right clothing items to be able to comfortably brave the cold.
What’s your favorite part about living here?
My favourite part about living in Mongolia is the challenge and experience. Life here is VERY different than back in Australia but it has been great to experience a different way of life and culture. I love that living here in Mongolia gives me new insights into to the world around me. I have also made friendships here that I will have for life.
What is the most challenging thing for you about Mongolia?
It has been challenging to navigate my way around the city as many buildings are not what they seem. Signage is in Mongolian, using the Cyrillic letters, and without any previous knowledge of the language I wasn’t sure what was what. Signage is not always obvious either. Some buildings appear somewhat run down (it would be impossible to repaint etc. after every harsh winter) however, when you go inside it can be a beautiful restaurant or café. It’s really just about having the confidence to explore and find all the hidden gems.
How did you hear about MBDP and what made you want to work on the project?
When I arrived in Mongolia I was looking for something to get involved with. I researched local projects online and found the MBDP online. They had a great website with lots of information. I made contact via their FaceBook page and the team was quick to respond and we began to discuss how I could get involved.
How did you develop your passion for wildlife and conservation?
I have always loved animals and nature so as I got older I developed a passion for conservation. I have been a long-time supporter at my local dog and cat shelter then in 2015 I did volunteer work on a turtle conservation program in Costa Rica which satisfied my interest in travel and conservation. At university I studied sustainable tourism which gave me insight into the importance of wildlife, environmental and culture conservation around the world.
How did you get into this work?
I loved my previous volunteering experience with animals so I knew it was something I would like to do here in Mongolia. When I found out that MBDP has so many amazing benefits for the wildlife and people of Mongolia I had to enquire. Working with the gorgeous dogs would just be a bonus! Having studied Public Relations and sustainable tourism, I began working with the Project Manager, Zoe, to develop strategies on generating awareness of the great work done by the project.