Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 8: Country drives and Ger homes.

Today was so unreal. You know when you have those experiences when you really don't have words to describe what just happened? This is how I felt all day. We drove about an hour and a half out to the countryside to meet another family that lived in a Ger. The drive was straight out of a movie with rolling hills, herds of sheep, Budda shrines, and windy cold weather. The family had three children and the grandma lived with them as well. Out in front of there home they had many sheep, horses, cows, and goats. We had a BLAST interviewing them as well as taking pictures of them with their beautiful/unique culture.

The whole family

The kids actually stay in the city with a relative all week to go to school and then they come home on the weekends to be with their parents. When interviewing the 13 year old she explained how much she loved living in the countryside, taking care of the animals, and cooking with her mom. About half way through our shoot we got to eat some Khoorshoor (fried dumplings) that the family had prepared. They also gave us some Airag, which is fermented horse milk as well as homemade yogurt. The Khoorshoor were incredible! They tasted a lot similar to an empanada, we all tried the horse milk but none of us could have more than a sip. I've never tasted alcohol before, but to me it tasted like how alcohol smells. 

Mikki, Me, the Grandmother, Kristin, the Mother

This is my good friend Enkhgerel Enkhbold. She lives in Mongolia and went with us everywhere we went to be our translator! Her and I met when we were both serving as missionaries at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. 

We drove back into the city and met Nara, she supports an orphanage/shelter in town. She actually is from Mongolia, lives in Denver, and she travels back and forth quite often. The shelter right now has about 15 teenage boys living there. They call them sewer kids because they actually are taken off of the streets where they live a dirty life and sleep in the sewers. Many of them have parents but were heavily abused or come from homeless families. It was extremely hard to comprehend what they had been through as Nara told us about some of their circumstances, but you could see in their faces that they lived tough lives. As we were getting ready to leave they gathered together and sang the most beautiful song for us. The chorus of the song translated to, "I have no home, no mother to kiss me on the cheek, but I'm so grateful you came into my life, my heavenly father sent you to me, you have made a difference, I'm so grateful". We all were extremely emotional and very grateful for this life changing experience. 

I love Mongolia. 

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