Monday, October 22, 2012

Moving to the Winter Place .... One Day Too Late!

It has been a very busy week out at the ger.  Baagii has been frantically moving all of the gers (including his!) to the winter place trying (in vain as it turns out!) to beat the snow.  Now, you have to understand that in traditional Mongolian culture this is a move that happens four times a year and he has had LOTS of practise in his forty odd years.  Everyone who lives out in the countryside and has animals her moves from their summer place to a winter place.  Our winter place is ( fortunately!) very close to our summer place - read 300 yards.  We (read Baagii and his gang of merry of which was, in fact, me!) moved our ger last week.  This week Baagii took on the task of moving all of the gers.  This is what it looks like when you wait one day too long....

And this is what it looks like when you believe your expat friend who tells you that her phone says it won't snow tonight...Something tells me that your thousands of years of cultural experience that was telling you it was going to snow ...won.

Two down...two to go.

For all the ladies of the International Equestrian Club of Outer's the extra mile that our fearless leader is prepared to go for us!  And yes, I know it's not fair to snap a photo when he has no way of even looking away...

The walls and the roof are down...and FINALLY...Boika gets to go in a ger!

Yes, that's me supervising!!  Isn't it great that the IECOM clubhouse ger is now so close to the horses!!?
It was a great weekend - and my back is only a little sore as a result of all of the lifting...but when you consider that we moved three houses I guess I'm not doing that bad!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Birthday to Remember

 Birthdays, like everything else, tend to be a little unusual here in Mongolia.  Last week was my 52nd birthday....and it was one to remember!  My actual birthday was the Saturday, but we started celebrating on Friday night...with a meal up at the dump.
 We recently slaughtered some lambs and one was donated to the group for a Friday evening meal for the kids.  Chelvan and I got to come and play with the kids....
 ...survey the project and just generally have lots of fun....full blog about it in the Veloo Foundation Blog coming!
 On the morning of my birthday it was off to Bojangles restaurant to a fundraiser for the Children of the Peak Sanctuary project....all thanks to Shaz Crowe and her gang of merry helpers!  We raised two million for the project - a spectacular birthday present!  Again...full blog to follow when I put on my other "blogger's" hat!
 After the game, Chelvan and I headed out to the ger where Saraa and Baagii had a really gorgeous birthday surprise waiting for me.

A portrait of me on Boroogui in full dell & traditional boots in front of the "king" ger that Baagii built for us up on the hillside.  This has to be one of the most thoughtful presents I have ever received. I was so touched...and still am every time I look at it. I know that it will always be one of my most treasured possessions and not only because it commemorates my voyage into the "full Mongol" but because Saraa and Baagii have become two of my best friends and forever, every time I look at it, I will think of them and remember my time in Mongolia, learning to ride, getting ( and losing!) Tomulaan, our time out at the ger and all of the personal changes ( and there are a LOT) that my time in Mongolia has wrought upon me.

  I think I'll call it Shar Mongol - Yellow Mongolian - as in Mongolian they call us caucasians "yellow" and except for that lovely "yellow" complexion of mine, this could be the picture of a Mongolian in front of their ger...right?  Right?  No?....well, I don't care, I'm holding onto my delusions about it!

 They had me pose in this outfit about a month ago and told me that they wanted the photos for some promotional stuff for their ger camp and riding program.  Liars.  Bald faced liars!  But lovely people nevertheless.  

The next day it was off on a 5 day wilderness ride with the crew.  How's that for an eclectic mix of birthday presents?  Like I said...not a birthday I'll be forgetting any time soon.... Looking forward to birthday number 53!