Groovin’ in the Grasslands
Everyone woke up refreshed and energized after having had the chance to sleep for at least nine hours last night (the first time this has happened the entire trip). Our day started off with a trip to a farm, which was very close to our camp. The farm was mainly a horse farm where they milked the mares, and we had a chance to sample the milk. It had been milked the day before, so it was fermented and that did not tickle the taste buds of most of us there. It was an “acquired taste” as Mr. Fry put it.
But we were told that it had many benefits including helping with diabetes, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and losing weight. After having an hour or two of downtime after the farm, we headed to a Mongolian “ranch”, if you will, where we did so many awesome things. Firstly, we were introduced to Mongolian wrestling, in which you try to get your opponent to fall to the ground while only using your hands above his/her waist and using your legs to trip him/her. Everyone had the chance to fight each other, in traditional Mongolian wrestling attire; even Mr. Fry and Ms. Jin joined in on the action. In the end, Brent was dubbed the champion after beating our instructor, Tubu. But we all enjoyed it. We also took pictures in traditional Mongolian dress, saw a milk tea-making demonstration, saw alpacas, and did some archery. It was truly a magnificent afternoon and everyone left the grounds smiling.
In the evening, we had a barbeque and were joined by a special guest, “Ranger,” a 17-year-old student from Hohhot who is going to be attending a high school in Canada this year. Our barbeque consisted of incredible food, mostly meat including lamb, fish, and even chicken cartilage. Mr. Fry even tried pickled chicken feet for the first time! His lips might have been numb because of the spiciness afterwards, but he thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t worry, parents, we did have some fruits and vegetables too like carrots, peppers, apples, and very juicy peaches. While the adults cooked, we kids played Frisbee, soccer, and banana grams. What a fantastic day on our first full day on the Mongolian grasslands.