Water Woes

Last year’s winter was pretty tough, but not the toughest for Mongolia. The zud was not as horrendous as many predicted, and most of the country weathered the storm without too many issues. This year, however, has been warm. Uncharacteristically warm: The daylight hours staying above zero degrees Fahrenheit, the nights barely dipping into the […]

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Mining and the Environment

Mining is a complex issue here in Mongolia. As such, I’ve decided to write a two part series on mining in Mongolia based on my experiences here in country. The first will be on nationalism and how it relates to mining, and the second will be on mining and the impacts on the environment. The […]

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Herding Reindeer

Every season, the herders switch camps. At each camp, there are tent poles for their teepees. The season dictates how big the teepee will be: Extraordinarily wide for summer (to keep their distance from the stove), mid-sized for spring and autumn, and tightly compact for winter. Each camp is next to different areas for reindeers […]

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The Reindeer People

In the northern reaches of the Mongolian taiga, there live a group of nomadic herders, known in Mongolia as the Tsaatan, or “Reindeer People.” For a project I did with other Peace Corps volunteers, I was able to travel and live at their camp for a good 10 days. Reaching their spring and summer camps […]

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Traditional Mongolian Diet

The first thing you learn coming out here to Mongolia is the importance of livestock in the daily lives of all Mongolians. Meat and dairy are king. It’s due to the long tradition of herding in Mongolia, and the prestige that once came with owning animals. I remember reading Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the […]

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