At home in Mongolia
Would you like to try life as a nomad out in the wild landscapes of Mongolia? Intrepid travellers get to overnight in a traditional ger, and on a recent trip Tina Gerets’ group enjoyed Mongolian real life experiences that made them feel right at home…
“On the way back to Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar from our stay at the ger camp in Terelj National Park, we stopped at the summer camp of Lotus Children’s Centre.
During the warm months the kids stay in a ger camp, not unlike our previous night’s accommodation. About forty kids were staying there at the time, ranging from two to sixteen years old. The kids were excited to see us and we were invited to their little singing and dancing show. The girls dressed in adorable costumes and visibly enjoyed their dance routines. Two boys talked about their trip to Japan as part of cultural exchange. After the show, everyone was so excited that music kept playing and a spontaneous open-air dancing session broke out! Several hours were enjoyed playing and talking with those wonderful kids.
Close to the Lotus camp, a local nomad family had set up their gers. Our fabulous guide Nemo arranged for our group to have a little chat with the family. They invited all eight of us inside their ger so we could see how they lived. They kindly fed us all kinds of Mongolian nomadic food, like curd cheese and milky tea, and last-but-not-least airag, fermented mare’s milk.
Outside the grandparents were preparing a meal and we watched in awe as they cut up all the meat and hung it to dry. Then it was milking time. We witnessed the milking of a mare and saw the leather bag used for fermentation of the milk. Since we had just tasted this famous Mongolian drink, we were all delighted that we now also understand how it was made!”
* photo by Amber Rouse, Intrepid Photography Competition