Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rachel gets her ger on

Despite being very dedicated to not going camping in Australia, I decided to take up an invitation to join a bunch of women from the international church on a countryside weekend break.

Here we are, setting out in the van. Note the pile of luggage squished in (we had to bring our own food and cooking utensils and gas stoves and water and and and...).
It took about 90 minutes in the van to get to a ger camp by the river. The family have a ger that they live in, plus a few for guests. Each ger sleeps five, so we had two. Here's one of them!

They let a lot of wind and dirt in around the bottom since they had set up summer gers for us, despite it getting down to freezing point the first night. Turns out that you can either get up every hour to put wood on the stove and be super hot all night, or you can let the fire go out and freeze. Actually it was mostly just me freezing the first night; turns out that a sleeping bag for the Australian summer is not recommended for Mongolia in the spring, even with a blanket on top. The second night I was lent a Canadian sleeping bag and that was so much warmer. Also we burnt dried dung that night, which lasts a lot longer than wood. Easy to collect when there are horses and cows meandering around leaving their flammable gifts behind!

There was a hill behind the camp that we climbed a few times to enjoy the view, plus a river around 200 metres away. On the Saturday we also went horse riding. Mostly my horse was led along by other riders, but I did do a little riding unsupervised, go me! Other activities included cooing over a litter of seven six-week-old puppies, playing with the cute granddaughter of the owners, card games, long walks, song-singing... and eating a huge amount of delicious food. Including the fluffiest pancakes of my life, accompanied by homemade apricot sauce.

There was also a massive silver statue of Chinggis Khaan near where we stayed. Just chilling on the side of a hill in the middle of nowhere. It was only erected fairly recently, but it's become a bit of a pilgrimage spot. One of the women said people bring offerings and such on special occasions. Definitely counts as another Genghis sighting!

I was surprised that being dirty for 48 hours didn't cause me more stress, as that's one of my least favourite things in general. I suppose when everything is covered in dust it feels natural. Still, it was quite hot on Sunday (yes, from freezing to hot, that's how it goes here) so I was most pleased that God responded in the positive to my prayer-pleas for the hot water to be running when we got home!

Have a few more photos.

1 comment: