“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”  

 

O.Thermaa, an ordinary chef from Mongolia, dedicated her entire life to others. Yet the story is untold. She was a chef in ministry of health until she was transferred to an orphanage in 1953. The orphanage was not like other orphanages. The children, were North Korean kids aged from 2 to 5, were sent to Mongolia upon the agreement of two countries. The chef Tsermaa not only prepared food for kids but also was the main person who brought them up. The poor souls were horrified from the devastating wars and lost every family member during that time. They frightened even from machine engine; was sick from harsh climate and heavy diet of Mongolia, she recalls The kids liked everything with rice, so she cooked mainly food with rice. She cooked them, washed their clothes, brushed their hair, washed their face, basically, she was there for their every need. Even when they were sick, she would stay by their side day and nights, cared them more than her own children. The children called them Omoni( mother) and many claimed she was her real mother.  She mended every shattered piece of them into one, helped them to overcome from the horror they endured with her motherly love. After couple of years, Mongolia built special school for the children. The school was 100% Mongolian styled and they learned mongolian too. They had several guinea pig which attracted many mongolian kids. Even some local kids slept in the camp without permission in order to play with guinea pig. After North Korea recovered from Korean war, in 1959, the children returned back. Since they were together for 7 years, it was harsh farewell to each one of them. Mrs Thermaa was invited to DPRK three times. In 1989, after 30 years she was invited by Kim Il Sung and the supreme leader himself expressed his appreciation to her. She met with several children, which were doing good and she told later that she was happy to see them happy. When she died, upon her memory, her children asked tuberous begonia( eternal flower) seeds from North Korea which she fancied so much during her visits to DPRK. They gave 2000 seeds to Tsermaa's children for her memory.  


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