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June 18th 2014
Published: June 18th 2014
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I have been trying to catch up on my blogs. It seems like it wouldn't take any time at all to write a few words and post them. Unfortunately I am not a computer geek and I struggle with each entry. Not only that, often there will be no internet for days on end. Here in Mongolia so far I have had easy access, but I am in Ulaanbaatar, the largest city in the country.

Tomorrow, actually in five hours, I will be leaving for a nine day trek to the Gobi Desert. It is a very primitive trip but I am looking forward to it because I have been in the city since June 15th and for three days I just stayed in my hotel room and rested. Two wonderful massages (really different experiences from other Asian countries I've been to) helped salve my wounded ego. How I wound up here in Mongolia instead of Burma is a long story and I may yet share it with you but not tonight because I must get some sleep. Mongolia has been a wonderful experience so far.

Those massages were actually two unusual experiences. The first massage was very relaxing. While resting afterwards the massage therapist asked me if I wanted to have the bees wax ear cleaning. I thought, “Why not? It will be another adventure.” The technician lit the first bees wax cone, inserted in my ear, and as I glimpsed the flames shooting past my hair, I wondered, “Where is the fire extinguisher?” When she lit the cone in the opposite ear, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. The next day, when the question was asked again, I told her no thanks. Not to be deterred, she then asked, “Would you prefer both ears done at the same time?” Although I was curious how that could actually be done, I again declined. I decided I had experienced enough.

I am excited about singing sand dunes and flaming cliffs, Gers (yurts) and camping, and my first camel ride. Mongolia is so big I regret not having enough time to see more. It will require another trip, I imagine.

Today I found my new teacher friends, changed hotels, went to the doctor, bought new shoes, got a first rate hair cut and ate at Applebees. Yes! I did. I like Mongolian food, but as I said, this trip is purported to be primitive and we will be eating with local families so I will have the opportunity to try even more Mongolian dishes.

I will be posting more about Mongolia in ten days.

Additional photos below
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Artist, actually there were two, working on this three dimensional sidewalk painting. Really amazing.

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