Today we decided that we would go up the hill across from our ger. We had to wake up earlier than usual to start the walk up the hill. We got changed and left the Ger, the air was cold and very refreshing. We walked up the hill which was small but surprisingly steep. The surrounding area of where we are staying is covered in green grass with many small stones. This made climbing up the hill a bit challenging which added to the fun and experience. Once we reached the top the view was spectacular, we had a view of all the Gers along the steppe and in towards the valley.
My phone definitely did not capture how amazing this was in real life.
We returned to camp, had breakfast and headed out on ox cart to the local school. The ox cart is a small, hand made, wooden platform with wheels which is pulled by an Ox and sometimes even a horse. It never becomes boring riding on the back of these carts as the view along the ride is really nice and relaxing. The ox cart takes us across the steppe that we are camped on and across a river to get to the school.
We got to the school and planned what construction we will be doing during the week. Today we dug up a certain area to make way for the concrete and carried some bricks, once constructed they will be used as seats for the children.
We levelled the area we dug up and removed any large debris from the area. It was very hot so we had to take regular drink breaks and rest for a little bit before continuing. The locals were very helpful with trying to find tools and helping us with transporting dirt and other things like that.
The Mongolian woman brought down lunch for us which was a Mongolian dish similar to pasta with lamb and a few other vegetables. The mutton was freshly made for us, on the last night we are going to cook an entire sheep with a variety of vegetables. I am looking forward to that dish and I am definitely enjoying the traditional Mongolian style food.
We worked on the project for a little while afterwards until some kids from the community came by and we were able to introduce ourselves and practise our Mongolian.
We then headed to the local river to have a bath and clean our clothes. I went into the river for a swim and the water was extremely cold. It was unbelievable to see little kids running around the water like it was nothing. I washed all my clothes and had a good time mucking around in the river with my friends.
We headed back to the gers for some rest time and to end our day with a final meal. We had fried rice with vegetables and mutton. Again the style of cooking is very unique and gives a great flavour to the food.
All of us were very tired at the end of the day so we quickly got our stuff ready in the Ger. I setup my inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, pillow and mosquito net. It is a very funny layout inside the Ger and it is heaps of fun to sleep in a Ger with all my friends.