Wednesday, August 15, 2012

home of the nomads

My very first ger-building experience!

On the third day of the trip, we helped... well, just a little... to build a ger* for a homeless family.
This was how the ger was built step-by-step:

1. Attached the two centre pillars to the roof ring with ropes.
A roof ring lets out smoke from cooking fire and allows air to flow

2. Set up the walls using criss-crossed wooden poles.
There are usually six sections (depending on the size of the ger) and need to be tied together
to form a full wall, with a door that faces south (away from the coldest wind). When a nomad
family move on, they can fold these sections and carry them easily.

i can’t help but noticed the beautiful shadow and got a little carried away with shooting :)

3. Attached roof poles from the roof ring to the criss-crossed wall.

4. Secured everything and ta-dah! the skeleton of the ger is up.

5. Layered the exterior with felt and canvas, secured with ropes and the ger was completed!

Max excited when walking into the newly built ger. This was how it looked like from the inside.

The man of the family tied a traditional ceremonial blue scarf (which i guess was for good luck) to
the roof ring. Now, the family can finally all stay together :)

Celebrating with cheese, yogurt, speeches and songs.

One last look at the ger and it was time to leave.

*A ger costs about US$1,000 and can be built under 2 hrs with a group of experience locals. And within this short period of time, we witnessed a small community with strong ties and spirits – friends and families were all very eager to help out. The building process was of joy and love, and i’m truly grateful to be part of it.

Zuunbayan-Ulaan, Mongolia

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