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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144 Character Poems: Set 1

Breaking Ice Roads Chisel with a flat-headed spade, remove the ice that forms when the snow meets the sun. I can’t just sprinkle salt; that would be wasteful.   Sudden He doesn’t understand what we’re saying. You know what I’m saying? Loudly now! So there is no doubt. What’s the harm in a little fun […]

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Khuvsgul Ice Festival

Lake Khuvsgul is the largest fresh water lake in Mongolia. When winter freezes it over, there is a small bay nestled by a crescent of land a few kilometers from shore where locals of the province set up a festival. Getting to the ice festival was quite a journey: 13-15 hours in a van with […]

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Zud

There is a word for a particularly terrible winter in Mongolia: Zud (зуд). This word roughly translates to any of the following: disaster, blight, severe weather, or heavy snowfall. Needless to say, it’s not something many rejoice about upon hearing of its imminent arrival. Cue winter 2012-2013. This winter will be particularly gleaming, as many […]

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Counting By Nine

Since the end of the world has come and passed, a new kind of long count may begin: The Nine Nines. The count usually begins on December 22 (Winter Solstice), and is a way Mongolians measure the intensity of the cold during winter. Each “Nine” is nine days in length, with nine “nines” in total. […]

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