Sunday, July 8, 2007

100% BETTER!

Caroline and Jay were feeling 100% better today. They appeared to be ready for the day's long journey. For breakfast sugar cookies were served. Believe me Jay and Nick took these for the road. The first stop was the Stone Turtle. This turtle represented the protection of the people. Before the revolution, there use to be four turtles surrounding the Erdene Zuu monastery. The next stop was a Phallic Rock, translated the Vagina Slope. There are three legends associated with this rock. The first legend is a woman is waiting for a man while he is away at war. The second is a local woman and monk fell in love. Of course, this was not allowed due to religious reasons. The third legend is that local families would pray to the rock to conceive children, fertility. This was unusual and unexpected to see such a sculpture in Mongolia.
On our way to our third stop, we saw a high speed pig chase. Cows and Yaks were teaming up on a poor little sow. Migaa later told us that cows and yaks do not like pigs. Jay and I explained that cows and pigs live together happily on farms in the U.S. The third stop was Tseterleg(Garden) town. Here we ate lunch at a Westernized cafe. Western food, you say? The cafe was owned by an British couple from England. They had been there for over 10 years. The carrot cake was absolutely delicious! Oh yeah, they had a proper toilet!
The forth stop was the Chuluut Canyon. Massive rocks surrounded the bottom of this canyon with a river flowing north to south. The top of the canyon was surrounded by beautiful and rich pine trees. The view was absolutely amazing! Don't fall in! The final stop was the Khorgo Terk National Park. To get there we drove through winding rock valleys surrounded by mountainous pine forest. You could imagine the difficulty! We approached a volcano that was enclosed with beautiful green forests. The magnificent crater could be seen from the van. Next, we approached a beautiful fresh water lake surrounded by huge rocky mountains with rich pine forests. It felt as if you stepped into a different world. We followed the rocky road to our Ger and were greeted with pesky insects. The family had began a fire in the stove for us. It was nice and cozy until Migaa insisted on adding more wood to the fire. It instantly became blazing hot! For dinner, we had the luxury of having tofu with rice, carrots, and potatoes. After dinner, we had nice conversation over a bottle of red wine. Oh yeah, and desert. Jay and I had Carrot Cake, which I traded with Nick, and Caroline and Nick had an Apple Strudel. We discussed the differences between the American and English language. Caroline claims that American English is much older. As we are having the conversation, Migaa walks in. She began asking us questions regarding grammar and pronunciation. We discussed word like, happy, cool, snack, snake, beer, and bear. She tries immensely hard to use our language. We ended the English lesson and went to bed shorty after.

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