Note: Yet another catch-up post.
As I mentioned in my last post, we spent our first 2 days in Mongolia at a ger camp, which is a tourist camp made up of traditional Mongolian gers. We arrived late at night, so we couldn’t exactly see the scenery, but the next morning, we were greeted by a spectacular view.
Even though we were literally just a 15 minute drive from Ulaanbaatar (a ginormous* city by Mongolian standards), it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere (in a good way). There were 6 of us in each ger, and the gers themselves were really nice, even though the beds were hard as a rock (I’ve learned that all beds in Mongolia are hard as a rock) and our water heater wasn’t working so showers with anything other than ice cold water were out of the question. It’s amazing how quickly you’ll realize that showers and bathing in general are overrated when your options are a) possible frostbite and b) baby powder for your hair and baby wipes for your body.
Our first meal in Mongolia was your typical breakfast of hotdogs, eggs over easy, corn and pea medley, bread and butter, coffee, and juice boxes.
This is obviously not what Mongolians eat for breakfast, so I’m pretty sure the Peace Corps staff just told the workers in the ger camp restaurant to cook up something for 91 Americans. This is pretty much how most of our meals at the ger camp went: slowly easing us into what we would actually be eating for the rest of our time in Mongolia. We had some more meetings, got a couple more vaccinations (like rabies! Yay for rabid animals!), and went to the Immigration Office in Ulaanbaatar for immigration processing (which involves photos and fingerprinting).
We also had a little bit of free time, so some of us went hiking up the beautiful hills surrounding the ger camp.
I don’t exactly go hiking much, but I’m not out of shape either, so I’ll blame the fact that I was completely winded the entire time on the high altitude where we were. It was a lot of fun though, I got some great photos of the scenery, and we even found some bones! You read that right: we found 4 different bones scattered around the hillside, hence my oh so clever post title.
We determined (or seriously hoped) that they were the bones of some livestock that had died/been killed elsewhere and wolves or rabid stray dogs feasted on their bodies and dispersed the bones throughout the area…**
The view was great though!
*Spell check had nothing to say about my use of “ginormous” and even offered synonyms, so I’m left to believe that it’s an actual word.
**I’ve since learned that there’s just random bones everywhere here. Mongolians eat a lot of meat, and most of it is straight off the bone, so when they toss the bones the stray dogs just get to them and carry them all over the place.