Thursday, June 23, 2016

In the Land of Blue Sky

White Lake, Tsagaan Nuur. This is the only boat I saw on the lake.  I learned that tourists do come to fish, though I didn't see any other vessels during my stay.
Our visit to the Dukha reindeer herders in northern Mongolia began and ended in Tsagaan Nuur sum. After an 11 hour ride in a Russian Furgon van we checked into our guest house. The road was unpaved and we crossed over small rivers and streams, passed herds of yak, cattle, sheep, horses and goats. We saw occasional gers and people on horseback going to or coming from either Murun or Tsagaan Nuur. There was a stop for lunch at a ger canteen in Toom and a quick visit to a friend in Ulaan Uul.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Views from the Taiga with Nomadicare

Crowded into our urts watching 'Migration.'

Our all female Team Nomadicare left Tsagaan Nuur for the east taiga on June 1. A Russian made Furgon van delivered us with our gear to Hogrog where our horses and wranglers were waiting. Once at the reindeer herders' camp, we moved into our accommodations, three people in a tourist urts (Siberian tipi) and two in tents. The next day, we arranged visits with the reindeer herders where we distributed hygiene kits to every family and updated our database. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life and Art: Young Reindeer Herders in Mongolia

In the north of Mongolia, not too far from Russia, I just completed a small research study on tourism among the nomadic Dukha reindeer herders of the East and West taiga. This community moves four or more times a year taking their animals to fresh pasture. When not interviewing their parents, my interpreter, Chuka, and I also did some 'day in the life' drawings with the children. I had brought colored markers and paper. I've conducted this exercise in many countries with children throughout the world: kids on Fogo Island in Cape Verde drew volcanoes; children in India their villages in the countryside and their families; in Bulgaria they drew photos of the sports activities they enjoyed, pizza, flowers and friends.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Day in Tsagaan Nuur

13 ovoos on the way to Tsagaan Nuur

Our drive from Murun to Tsagaan Nuur took 11 hours. It was a very bumpy but beautiful ride over dried mud tracks, through pastures of grazing sheep, goats, yak and horses. Our sturdy Russian Furgon forded streams like a vehicle built for the outback.  We made two stops on our journey.  At a ger canteen in Toom we lunched on hand cut noodles and mutton.

While waiting for our midday repast we enjoyed the scenery: one herder was mending her ger behind the restaurant. Across the way, while two small children played in a wooden cart, their family was unpacking their ger and household furnishings from their winter hut, readying for a move to their summer camp. In Ulaanuul, we visited Sas’s friend, Yura. Another nice reunion with hugs, catching up on news of family and friends. Yura welcomed us with soup and milk tea.