After the Mongolian Buddhist temple, we were taken to a Mongolian school for young children. The principle met us and showed us around, and everyone was wearing traditional robes much like the ones we were given in our ceremony.
This was a reading class, and the kids all read together, out loud. They were very excited to have us there and seemed to be reading extra loud to impress us. I loved it.
There were classes teaching Mongolian dance, Mongolian guitar, and many others. This class was for learning Mongolian writing. I loved the robes, the hats, and the bright colors. This young man was in full concentration and didn’t look up at me at all.
They had me try my hand at Mongolian writing. It was pretty hard, but I copied the squiggles on the chalk board, not knowing if what I was writing was amazing or completely illegible. So then my government friend wrote my name on the chalk board in Chinese for me to try, knowing it would be much easier. So here you can see I have a column of Mongolian and a couple columns of Chinese.
This little girl was stunningly adorable. She caught my eye as she was coming up the stairs and I had to stop her. I pointed to my camera and she did a curtsy. I can’t explain why I immediately just loved her so much, but I really like the photo and feel I captured her inner beauty.
This is the teacher for the Mongolian guitar class. I liked his outfit and entire manner. I stopped him right in the hallway as he was leaving his class.
Outside in the cold winter wind, I saw this little boy in the cool red jacket. I liked his style and got a photo of him and his two friends.
There were boys outside practicing archery, and I had to get a picture of them.
This young man was gathering up the bows from class and taking them back inside the school. I liked his mixed clothing, and the fact that he was standing by the doorways. Often doorways in town were covered with these blankets to keep the heat in, while allowing people to come and go.
This little girl caught my eye and I thought she was adorable. I singled her out for her own portrait.
We also visited a market street in town, which was a walking street of shops, and I was able to finally buy a winter cap for my ears. We were leaving the next morning and so I only wore it for a few hours, but it was worth it. Along this market street, all of the shops were almost identical in size. I saw these two little baby kids playing, both in yellow with their mothers close by.And these ladies, all in pink and black working at their shop.
Here, I started to photograph this dog in the image below, because it was framed nicely by the door behind it. As I did, this little child came up to the window and pressed her mouth and nose against the glass. I quickly shifted my focus and got the shot. I’m guessing that it’s a little girl, and you can see her mother working in the store behind her.Then as if on cue, her little friend came up to the other window too, both framed by windows, and the dog turned and looked. It was quite a thrilling moment that me and my photographer friend from Malta that I was walking with, talked about for a while afterwards.
That evening we had our last big dinner. We were leaving early the next morning and I had heard about people doing “sword gymnastics” in town each morning. I told my government friend that I was going to get up early to find some people doing sword gymnastics that I could photograph. It meant leaving the hotel at 5:30 am, and I asked about where some places might be nearby. He insisted coming early and taking me which I thought was extra kind. I told him I didn’t want to impose and that I would be fine, but he insisted and drove me to a couple places.
The sun had not yet come up and I was pushing the limits of my camera’s ISO settings to get a decent exposure, plus the temperatures were incredibly cold, even with my hat and gloves purchased from street vendors the day before. But it was worth it and I was able to get some great images.
There are so many images that I could post, but these last few postings cover some of my favorites. As you can see, I had a wonderful adventure and met some very great people. I’m very grateful for these opportunities I had and for the people that made it happen for me. And I hope all of you that have been following these posts have enjoyed these images too.
Until next time, America.