Post # 134 Tariat
Day 165 566 days to go. Distance: today: 0km total 8821 km. It’s 9pm Sunday 13/5/2012 Tariat. I was going to bed last night in Tunga’s and Amara’s main part of the house, and my feet were facing their shrine. Opsy another cultural no no. You never have your feet facing a Buddhist shrine. I flipped myself about and Tunga said ‘you must be getting sick of our ways.’ I explained that quite the contrary I wanted to know about their customs and in no way want to offend them or their ways. I reassured her how interesting it is to learn the ways of other folk in this world and as an Australian traveler I want to be a good ambassador and show that Australians are respectful of other cultures. I had the best sleep from 11pm to 8.30am getting up once for a chill bill visit to the outdoor loo. This morning I was served noodle soup for breaky and sat with Tunga on our squat chairs by the stove. I asked her about the horses heads in the back of Amara’s truck and how I understood them to be for soup. She clarified that their faith revers horses and although they eat the rest of the animal they keep the heads to be taken and offered at shrines. That’s the animal skulls I have been seeing placed around the base of the mongolian pole shrines called ‘ovoo.’ I have been invited to eat with the family and Tunga has just come in to tell me the soup is ready so I’ll be back soon.
It’s 9.30pm. I popped into the main house earlier on to stick my butt against the oven for a bit and watched their 2 boys busily cutting up the beef jerky they have stored in bulk as their meet supply. I gave them both a pat on the back and said ‘good job.’ This morning over breakfast Tunga and I spoke more about their religion. I asked her what sort of Buddhism does their family practice and she said Mongolian. She explained that Mongolian people believe they have been given the land and animals to live off and as such must take care of them both. It is their responsibility to raise and tender the animals look after the land so that it will always be there for them to live off. She said this is the core of their beliefs. They are never taught this at school alternatively it is passed on by word and practice by family and community. It was very interesting to hear her talk so freely and clearly about the simple foundations to their faith. She spoke with such heartfelt warmth it was very endearing and inspiring how the simple works so well for those who live simply. She also spoke about how they have very little money but every day say how rich they are with family and friends and closeness. They don’t want for anything and do what they can to help and share their fortune with others in need. She said how life is so long and we should never judge others with our eyes on the day as a person may behave badly one day but with goodness in time. She said how proud she is of her husband as he always treat people equally based on this principle. Again a beautiful conversation to have. I told them they both had good genes and were a good match. They laughed.
Overnight it was so cold my water bottles on Rube froze rock hard. Tunga told me this morning there had been a snow storm west of here and forecast very cold winds today. And they were!!!! I rugged up and went for my walk into Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park and the Khorgo Uul volcano. Park fees don’t start until the 1/6 so it was a chilly freebie and worth every layer of clothing I had on. Basically the wardrobe with the grape over the top so I was snug with my leather mits. The land is volcanic rock and rolling hills and very very beautiful. I passed over the bridge out of town and the river was still quite frozen underneath with folk collecting fresh water to stock up their supplies. I left at 10am and didn’t get back until 4.30pm and loved every step. I got the best photos and looking forwad to uploading them to share.
On that note I have decided to head home now for a time to reconnect, recoup, recover, reassess, refocus and replan. I haven’t finished my shecyclesolo travels but they need some tweeking. But for now I want to be home to share time with my family with everything that has and is happening. That is where my heart wants to be and I listen to it and trust it impeccably nowadays.
I need a time to digest my experience and learning. I will leave the details at that for now as this is a time to play with ideas, share with my family and make decisions on future directions when the time is right and based on what counts.
Balance is everything and I always find answers in the truth. The truth is I want to be home for a time and am soooo fortunate to have such a beautiful home and family to share this space with. One door closes and others open and that’s always the way of it as long as I stay clear and open.
Right now it’s time to get me and Rube home safe, take a deep breath of Maleny air and be with family to recover both physically and emotionally. Health comes first and foremost and its onwards from there. talk soon x 🙂
I look forward now to using my remaining visa time in Mongolia to get back to UB allowing enough time to arrange flights home and a Chinese transit visa as needed.
Talk soon x