Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monthly Montage: Sweat in the City

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. I've been in the capitol getting trained for my position on the Peer Support Network (a handful of Peace Corps Volunteers who get reimbursed for phone credit used to talk to other Volunteers about issues they are struggling with here in Mongolia). In addition to the training there was bonding with friends, celebrating Thanksgiving with just about every PC Volunteer and staff member in the country and saturating in luxuries like cheese, spinach and draft beer. But now I'm back in Hovd and down to business. The November Monthly Montage is barely squeaking by in time but hopefully you'll like it. Sadly I just picked up a crazy debilitating computer virus so posting will be a little more difficult until I get this sorted. And the format is a little wack on the photos due to working on a strange computer. Thanks for your love and patience, ya'll!

Since I started the new school year I have been pretty faithful to my morning runs. There is really no reason to lounge around in bed these days and the feeling of getting better at something challenging has been rather intoxicating. There are so many fascinating things to see- something new and  bizarre every day. I took my camera out every day for a week and this is some of what I saw. This montage doesn't really cover all the strange and wonderful things that I've stumbled upon but hopefully will give you a good idea of one morning in Mongolia though the eyes of a novice runner.


The gaps in the wall the Manchu built.

Ger District.

Waiting on reputedly good meat and seasonal yogurt outside someones hashaa.

Groups of men loitering while the women fight for spots
in the yogurt line in front of a hashaa door.

Snow day! This is the first street I come to after leaving my apartment.
At the end of this road I turn left, right or go strait depending on the pollution and my mood.

Early morning tracks.

Going out of town.

Typically my turning around point in my run.
Quite a sight for a city girl like myself.

Sunrise over thatch and loam.

Not quite a mini-van but it gets the family around.

The towns only heating plant from afar.
Smog and smoke.

Turning around to run back through the haze and into town.


A wary watcher.

He was rather fascinated but gave me the thumbs up after I snapped this shot.

The new mosque that is being built and a horseback commuter.

Off to school.

The neighborhood dumpster and a few of those who profit from it.

Waiting to collect meat for the winter from a truck recently arrived in town.

Bringin' home the bacon.

Happy customers!
Buying a whole, skinned sheep is very common.
The younger woman in this photo spied me taking photos of the line of people buying meat. She beckoned me inside her hashaa and into her ger. She then made me take pictures of her whole family. She was so stern yet friendly- how could I resist? It was tough trying to tell her why I didn't want milk tea and candy in the middle of my run. Her family seemed to be a traditional Kazakh one.
Inside my new friend's ger. Making milk tea, fresh meat and eme ('grandma') holding down the fort.

Ovoo ('grandpa') making milk tea. Notice the sweet Kazakh tapestries behind him.

A very sweet little girl. She was rather terrified of that calf but happy to pose.

A stern matriarch.

When I feel like off roading I run strait out into the field.

Clouds of ger smoke.

Free running!

Whose Dad makes the best granola in the world?

A little taste of the best coffee shops in Atlanta to take to work.

What I lovingly refur to as my 'splashy bath'. Two kettles of boiling water, three or four ladles of cold water and 15 minutes later a squeaky clean Peace Corps Volunteer ready to start the day!


E in Atlanta said...

This is wonderful! What a great picture of your morning. The photos are great.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out girl! You've sweet-talked me into another batch of 'nola. Love, Dadster

bs said...

nice pictures! crazy how far away these views seem to me. mongolia looks so peaceful and innocent from here, specially the early morning hour shots.