AFC Flag Expedition, 2009

Back Home In California

I had a pleasantly uneventful trip home from Mongolia. Glad to be home, but already plotting the trip next year. I was able to get to the Hi Fi music shop in UB and buy a few CDs of contemporary Mongol music, so I’ll have fun painting to that until it’s time to go again.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a final get-together with Gana Wingard and Sukhin Amgalanbaatar. We brought Amgaa up to speed on what had happened during the meetings with the women at Ikh Nart and talked about what the next steps should be.

I showed him some of the pictures I took of argali. It looks like I may have the first and only documented evidence of an argali crossing a river, which I saw on the first morning out at Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve. Up until last year, the only argali research in the world was being done at Ikh Nart, which has no rivers, streams, lakes or creeks. Apparently one scientist has maintained that they won’t cross water. I guess no one told the Gun-Galuut argali since at least four of them had before we got there and we watched one come back across. I’ll be working to confirm the significance of what I saw and what it means in terms of what is known about argali.

Today is “My mind is in California, but my body is still in Mongolia”, so I’m going to take it easy, unpack, do laundry, hang out with my husband, pet the cats and dog, maybe putter in the garden if the sun comes out and think about the past three weeks spent in a country that is starting to feel like a second home.

Sunset, Arburd Sands

Sunset, Arburd Sands

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