Arts and Crafts of the Nomads….

As I’m sure I mentioned earlier, the Mongolian nomads are very resourceful, meaning they can find uses for all things around them.

After the butcher of a goat, sheep or cow, the skin (leather) is treated and stored a well. I didn’t experience the animal butchering (although I have seen it elsewhere before). I saw Durukh using the leather to make repairs to a saddle and a couple of other things during my stay. One day he asked for my help after cutting a few strips of leather with what looked like large ‘sheet metal” shears.

Continue reading Arts and Crafts of the Nomads….

Leaving Mongolia

I woke up at 630 AM  to pack up my electronics and laundry. Surprisingly, Altai’s mother and stepfather were already awake! I started to gather my laundry which had been drying for about 7-8 hours. I noticed that my jeans were not there….I was worried about whether or not they would be dry by morning.

Altai’s stepfather had somehow dried the jeans. He handed them back to me and I felt they were warm. I am guessing he ironed them by hand because I couldn’t see how else he could have warmed them up!

My early rising also caused Joseph to wake up. I learned he had arranged with

Amma, Altai’s brother and our driver, to go sightseeing around Ulan Bator that day. I wished I could have arranged the same!  So Joseph was sharing a ride again with me to the airport and then off with Amma afterward.

Altai’s parents had prepared a nice breakfast for us that morning which I wasn’t expecting. I continued to be impressed by the gracious hospitality!

Amma arrived and we left promptly. There was bad traffic as I had anticipated. Amma is an aggressive driver and changed his route a couple of times to avoid traffic. We arrived at the airport a little over 1 hour later ( in what is a 20 min ride without traffic). I was relieved to get to the airport on time with about 1 hour are before boarding time. I thanked and said goodbye to Amma and gave him a 10000 Turgik tip which is only about $4.00.

I checked in to my flight on Turkish airlines and walked around the very small airport a bit. I reflected on not being able to see much of Ulan Bator. There is a famous tourist site with a huge statue of Genghis Khan that we drove past. A lot of tourist like to take their picture there, but I settled for this smaller one in the airport 😛

Well I bought a cup of coffee.Being paranoid the whole time about losing my boarding pass, I sat down and started working on my blog in the airport coffee shop. Now you can loop back  to that post !!!

The route to Pakistan was through Bishkek, Kyrgzstan, then Istanbul, Turkey. I met another Californian in line in Istanbul (we are all over the place) and passed along my blog address.

Well this is my last post for Mongolia. I arrived at 400AM in Pakistan eventually to visit Synergy MMA as a guest coach.

I would like to make some general posts about Mongolia on subjects like “nomad economics” and there is actually quite a bit of material that I haven;t shared (photos and videos) so I will make some short sporadic posts about those.

As always thanks for reading. Please subscribe and share with friends! Your comments encourage me so feel free to do that as well 🙂

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Back to Ulan Bator

courtesy of @farmerboy242

About 15-20 minutes after driving off we arrived at another nomad camp (with no roads and few landmarks I’m still wondering how the driver and others navigate).  This is where we are to pick up a fellow volunteer from Australia whose name I later learned was Joseph.

There was a fellow inside the Ger preparing the evening meal, but nobody else around. I saw a huge suitcase and backpack propped up on one of the beds. It turned out that Joseph and one of the hosts had decided to water some of the livestock while waiting for the driver to arrive.

Continue reading Back to Ulan Bator

Leaving the Nomad Camp

It’s my last few hours in the nomad camp, Altanbulag District, Tov province, Mongolia.

I woke up about 615 am today, 20 minutes earlier than usual. The driver (Amma) is supposed to be here at 1200pm, so there’s still time to do some work. Durukh has been using a motorcycle to do some of his herding, and bringing in some untamed horses. If your curious to see what “hobbling” is you can have a look here as well as read about it in my previous post. Durukh is undoing the horse hobble:

Continue reading Leaving the Nomad Camp

Day 11- Last Full Workday

Today’s the last full day of work in the camp. I’ll have a partial day of work before the driver arrives from Ulan Bator tomorrow afternoon. I’m hoping to get into Ulan Bator a bit early so I can do my laundry, clean myself up, and maybe look around a bit, if time permits.

It’s colder today than yesterday. It’s funny how the weather temperature fluctuates at this time of year. When I first arrived in the camp I could wear just my grey sweatshirt outside as it was about 10C/50F. I’m guessing its about 1C/34F today. I never mentioned it before, but my daily wear has been:

Continue reading Day 11- Last Full Workday