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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Anything Goes at Nadaam-time

UB is a very busy town nowaways what with Nadaam happening. The three-day Mongolian National Festival of manly sports kicked off yesterday. During the day we travelled up and down the stalls near Nadaam stadium and saw the archery. Enkhbayar, the recently elected president of Mongolia was on hand for the opening fanfare that preceeded the archery competition. He sat down to drink airag (fermented mare's milk) and fired a ceremonial arrow that began the competition all while wearing a del. The whole affair was similar to the president throwing the opening pitch in the baseball season. Later on, we spent some time talking to new friend we recently made named Patrick. Patrick happens to be an engineer who is doing contract work for MCS through his company. The Londoner has been traveling with his company for six years now and has been to more countries than I can count, including places in the US I haven't been to. Together, we checked Nighttime Nadaam and saw a crush of humanity at a concert in Suhkbaatar Square as well as fireworks. Today has been a bit more tame, but with this entire week off from my MCS internship I'm sure we'll find some more excitement.