Being here makes me happy!
Mongolia is a place of natural beauty and wonder. A place where life is simpler, slower and totally different than life as we know it at home.
This is the kind of place I have farm fantasies about! The rolling land, the hills, the little hashas, the grazing livestock being herded by dogs; ah the simple life. The simple life also involves a lot of hard work to meet basic needs. No running water here. There are wells located around town, where you go to buy water and haul it back home
I went with my hasha dad Moogi (who is more like my sons ages…) this morning about 10:30 to fetch water. We walked about half a mile to the place where you purchase the water. Moogi had the plastic barrels to fill; the bigger for the family, and the smaller one for my use. The barrels were pushed on a metal frame cart with rickety wheels. There were many others also getting water this morning and we had to wait a minute. The concept of lines here is absent….instead you kind of hustle up to get your turn. I don’t exactly know how much the water cost. On the way back Moogi ran down a little slope to keep the cart going and only a couple spots did I need to help push the cart.
Upon our return, I helped him heft the large barrel into the family ger and I carted the smaller one to mine. Then I proceeded to fill my water filter which was almost empty (though it must hold around 3 gallons or so) then the fun job of hand washing clothes.
Now this doesn’t seem too bad to me theoretically, however, it’s a chore. I use cold water, a little Tide (yes I found it here) and scrub, scrub, scrub. My scrubbing technique needs some work though, since I noticed the jeans with mud on them still had some mud on them after washing…ugh. Part of the challenge to this is using as little water as possible, since it’s such a pain to get the water….conserve, conserve, conserve. So after washing some clothes, wringing, wringing and wringing some more, I then rinsed them sparingly. They at least smell better, though I’m not sure how clean they really are. (remember the water and lack of purity...)
The Mongolian language is really a challenge to learn. All the ish, ick and hocher kinds of sounds are fun…I think I finally have a grasp on the Cyrillic alphabet which is pretty wild. Though, of course, words are not always so simple to sound out. Our group of CYYD’s are meeting this afternoon for a little study session. What a fun group we all are….most of us went hiking yesterday and though it was far and a tough climb, the views were awesome! We plan to hike a different area next Saturday.