Mongolia 2006

Our visit to the capital Ulaanbaatar, just happened to coincide with a visit from the Dalai Lama at a local Buddhist temple.

Even young Buddhist monks in training are still children.

While we were there, Mongolia was celebrating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Genghis Khan's Mongolian empire.

Part of the celebration was re-enacted battles.

Over 200 horsemen in mock battle!

Wide open Mongolian landscape.

Our wheels: four Toyota Land Cruisers

Some local kids I befriended.


A local prayer circle. Three times around!

River scene.

A visit to a family and their remote gere (yurt).

The two sons.

Incredibly colorful interior of a Mongolian gere.

This was a game the locals played, which I didn't completely understand. Something about having to make up rhymes to a song that matched the number of fingers displayed. Looked like fun!

Milking the mare. The milk was then fermented in an open bucket, to make a potent alcoholic drink. An acquired taste!

The couple's son.

The locals could certainly cut a romantic image!

Dawn at a local river, near where we were staying.

Punk comes to rural Mongolia. I bought a gift from this fellow and he let me take his picture.

Ellen models some felt used to insulate geres. We visited the factory.

Water had to be hand-carried into the factory.

First, camel, horse, and cow hair is spread on a plastic sheet.

Then the sides of the plastic is folded over.

The resultant jelly-roll is put in the machine in the background.

A local we met up with at the Tuvkhun Monestery, who offered us some snuff.

Jeannie Hart trying some snuff!

The magic of a digital camera.

Left to right along the back, Jack Huang, Jane and Allen Grossman, Leslie Howell, Me, Dick Cooley. Jane Hart in front. Missing from the photo is Elena Engel and Andy Konigsberg. Photo by Paul Hart.

A dairy market the Phoenix Fund help get started.

For some reason, pool was very popular in Mongolia, even out in the street!

This seemed to be the way the local telephone poles were put together. To avoid frost damage, I guess.

A playground left over from the Soviet era.

If a horse had been a particularly good companion, when it died a local might put its skull in this venerated, and beautiful, spot by The Flaming Cliffs.

Group shoulder rub.

This is Mr. Bimba, a remarkably innovative local entrepreneur. He was able to grow these beautiful squashes out in the cold Mongolian desert.

Mr. Bimba with his grandson.

A very innovative greenhouse, using a local indigenous material they had in abundance: vodka bottles! In season, it's covered with plastic.

A tailor shop the Phoenix Fund helped get started.

The elegant proprietress of the shop.

Some of the group at the Flaming Cliffs of dinosaur fame.

Paul Hart, photographing some of the local flora.

The Three Camel Lodge — easily our most luxurious accommodations. Beautiful place.

I loved the cheeks on this kid! About a millisecond after I took this picture the mother whipped around — I had to apologize profusely. But, I kept the picture.

Paul calling on a satellite phone, wondering where the heck our chartered plane was.

The group.