JUNE 21, 2009: SUNDAY

Land of the Blue Skies

Five Mongolian students spent time with us at camp yesterday and today. They have traveled from the other side of Mongolia (the mountainous region to the West, very near Kazakhstan). Some of them took public busses for many days to be able to spend time in the capital of Ulaanbaatar and then be shuttled out to camp to meet us. The mission for the day was to produce radio show spots with the children for Mongolian Public Radio. We might refer to these short, scripted audio broadcasts as Podcasts. The children were to be the producers and recorders; we were to be their “interns” and help as needed. Due to language barriers, I am not entirely sure what transpired over the course of the day, but the kids seemed to have fun!

After recording our radio spots, we were asked to write something about what we appreciate in nature. I chose to write about: Clean, Cool, Fresh air. Below are the ramblings that spewed forth from my head and landed on my paper in blue ink.

Clean, cool, fresh air is a luxury in much of the world. But in the Mongolian countryside it is plentiful. The scent of the flowers on the Mongolian steppe is carried long distances and enjoyed by natives and travelers. Life giving seeds dance on the breeze and spread out across the landscape. The blue sky is dotted with ever-changing white as a kaleidoscope of clouds waft overhead.

Mongolia is the “Land of the Blue Skies” and Mongolians seem to embrace this slogan. They are proud of the wide-open spaces and cool, clean, fresh air. There is a real concern among them about the increased industrial pollution of the cities and an urgency to fix things before they get worse.

Today, here in HNNP, people from around the world have gathered to taste all that is sweet about Mongolia and slowly breathe in cool, clean, fresh air in the “Land of the Blue Skies”.

After writing this and reading it to the group, I realized that this splash of ink on the page was as much about Montana, as Mongolia. Change “Land of the Blue Skies” to “Big Sky Country” and I am transported back to the windblown slopes of the Rocky Mountain Front.

Winds of the Mongolian Steppe

Note: Christi is in flight right now, probably somewhere between Seattle and Seoul, South Korea. Hope all is going well.

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