Inner Mongolia, China – Life in a ger

A ger is what most westerners would call a yurt. In Inner Mongolia they are quite common. We stayed in one out in the middle of the grasslands in a place that was definitely off of the beaten pass. I felt as though the driver was probably using a GPS system as we didn’t seem to be on a real road half the time.

There was a tall, rocky hill behind the ger site with a small rock piling and prayer flags at the top. There were also some petroglyphs that could be seen on some of the rocks. The only thing surrounding us were grasslands and wind farms.

For dinner we had a wonderful feast. A sheep was killed and used for our dinner. I chose not to watch this process but I heard it was fascinating. Based on what my fellow group members said, the sheep was put on its back and then a small cut was made. The man reached in and pinched a part of the heart. The sheep then simply shut its eyes and took its last breath. I had assumed it would be a throat cutting.

At dinner we were treated to music by our local guide. We were also fortunate to see the eclipse of the moon. It was quite beautiful as there were no lights even remotely visible around us. It was a full moon and at night there was no need for a flashlight to find the outhouse. The only problem with the full moon was you couldn’t see as many stars but it was beautiful nonetheless.

On the way out in Inner Mongolia, we stopped at a rock temple formation at the top of a mountain – Bayin Aobau. It was peaceful but quite windy! We also made an unscheduled stop to a village where we happened to meet a woman who invited us into her home. We saw her dozen sheep (who wouldn’t come near us), a big pig, a piglet, and a barking pug. She lived in the small house with multiple generations and they all slept in the same “bed,” which was a large slab of concrete with mats laid over it. There was a spot to start a fire under it so that it could be warmed up in the winter.

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