Six students from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College trek across Mongolia in search of illumination, perspective, and the perfect cup of Yak-milk tea.

Monday, June 27, 2005

In the Mongolian spotlight

This weekend Liz and I set off for what we thought would be a relaxing night in the countryside. Our plans had been slightly altered by the addition of three other international students from NUM, but we were soon to realize they were a most welcome addition.
Steve Saunders had arranged for us to stay at "Temple tourist camp" and while we knew we were to be the first foreign visitors, we had no idea we were the first visitors ever. Upon our arrival there were a stream of very well dressed mongolians roaming around, many from diffrent travel agencies. We thought they were fellow tourists, except for the video camera that was following us whereever we went. A full orchestra had come in from the city, complete with dancers and a variety of singers. It quickly became apparent that they were playing for us, and the other mongolians were actually travel agents inspecting the camp and viewing the 'happy foreigners enjoying the nature'.
Even though we were in the spotlight for all of the trip it went really well. The gers were the best we've seen and the beds soooooooooo comfortable that we totally overslept our breakfast. The cook was apparently told that foreigners like eggs because we had them in every variety, on rice, with caviar, with pepers and again for breakfast....
I'm realy glad we got the opportunity to go to the camp, it was drasticaly diffrent from the excursion i'm about to undertake to the west to work on the archeology field dig. I"m leaving on thursdy night so barring increadably exciting events in teh next few days this'll probably be my last post untill I return sometime in the middle of July....