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Here we go!

Day 1 of our Mongolian Adventure (14 August, 2012)

Really we have to back up 2 days.....Sunday, 12 August was packing day.  I started at 10 am and finished at 8 pm.  we have ended up with 3 check-in bags, 2 overhead bags and 2 personal bags.  I have traveled all my life, but this is the hardest trip because of all the variables.  the temperatures will range between 80 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the situations will vary from putting up a ger (nomadic herder's home made of felt walls) to meeting with Parliament.  Having had my baggage lost on our trip to Brazil several years ago, I'm also building in some redundancy as a safeguard.  Of course, my army training kicks in and I must be ready for injuries, illnesses and getting lost on the steppes of outer Mongolia.  all sorts of survival gear like water purification tablets, emergency blanket, flint and steel, snake bite kit, mirror and magnifying glass have all been placed strategically in our goods. We have plenty of camera gear, still and video, with back up batteries, chargers, disks, tapes, connection cords and appropriate carrying cases for each.  I also threw in some edible rations, crackers, dry soup mix, tea bags and oatmeal. Two of the bags are filled with gifts for all ages as well as over 50 hand made felted gifts.  We are hopeful these bags will be filled with Mongolian hand mades on our return flight (and I packed an extra duffle bag, just in case!!!! ). Maybe I should have called this blog, "Just in case!"
We are now making our way to stay the night at our friends house in Reston, VA...just in case the car breaks down.  Jim is driving and I'm sending out last minute emails with emergency phone numbers and back up cat sitters.  I even synced my new IPhone with my gmail contacts so we can try to communicate periodically when there is wifi available.  Technology is incredible and I am grateful to have all this......  I am also giddy at the thought of being out in the middle of nowhere, without Internet making felt and putting up gers with a people that continue a nomadic culture for some 2400 years.
the screen saver on my iPhone quotes the menu cover from Zatinya's restaurant in D.C. It reads, "Are you ready for this because I believe your life is going to change forever."

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