Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Land Before Time

Im sitting in a sun bathed valley, in a place which time has forgotten. Either that or time simply doesn't exist here. It took a 16 hour jeep ride, and a two day horse trek to get here, and although it was intensely annoying, it was definitely worth being here right after being news of another financial meltdown on the other side of the planet. The biggest crisis we have been aware of is that tribe the tribe we are living with, the tsaatsan (reindeer people), had to migrate a week early because 6 horses had been stolen-one of which was shot-and taken over the russian border.

So we find ourselves in the middle of a migration since we arrived right at this decision. We are told we are the first tourists to witness it. We have no horses or reindeer- I forgot to bring mine from the north pole- and the people couldn't spare any since they needed all animals to transport their belongings. So you'll never guess what we had to do....oh yea, we did the migration via hiking through mud. was it hard? Ugh thats what she said...and yes it was...but another big pay off once we got to the new camp: we became local legends! People came from far and wide to take a look at us, and to give us their compliments. It took a day to rest those pains off.

We exist now only with the river, reindeer, blueberry picking, and the wind. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't mention how they have a satellite dish on one of the tepees, where they gather everyday to watch an unimaginably over dramatic japanese soap opera. It's funny. But thats a new and only technological connection to the people.
Even beds are an unnecessary neusance. We sleep in the orts (teepees) with the families with only a rug and our mattresses on the grass. So spiders and other moustachey bugs have become ordinary visitors and I've even stopped screaming when they come into sight.

Stepping out in the morning is magical. The dogs sleeping by the orts, horses grazing a few feet away and reindeer passing by to say good morning. It's really easy to see life as being something beautiful and something we should cherish.

Bathrooms: people who are sensitive to toilet stories should not read...
Well there are no toilets haha, so you have to get used to walking a bit ways away and squaring behind a tree. It takes some time to get used to it and not be in panic mode as your doing you're business. Don't you just hate it when a reindeer or a little boy goes by as your trying to be invisible behind a tree?

I think I've forgotten what trains and noise and work is. It's a great feeling.

But as magical and amazing as it was to be in this place, its also great to think ahead of showers, beds, and maybe a massage hehe..


Daria said...

:) Sounds so beautiful, and then somehow reminded me of my grandma's "ogorod" and Brazilian soap every night. I used to go to sleep at 8 or 9, just to make sure I am "out" before the dark. haha. Might not be a very good strategy for the wilderness of Mongolia.

Marina said...

haha... we would have loved to fall asleep at that time..since we get up so early, but the damn mongolians in our tent watching soap operas til 12 didnt let that happen hahah

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