I’ve been in Mongolia for eleven days and and they have been jam-packed with things to do.
The top priority has been the preparations for my exhibition at the National Museum of Mongolia. I brought 32 paintings with me. Fifteen of them were in an Archival Methods transport case. Which didn’t show up on the baggage carousel at Chinggis Khan International Airport. It turned out that it had been held for inspection in San Francisco by the TSA and didn’t make it onto my SFO to Incheon flight. So much for requiring that all luggage be on the same flight as the passenger. It arrived the following evening and the great staff of Korean Air brought it to the apartment where I’m staying. Definitely some anxious moments.
The next couple of days were filled with getting a sim card for my phone, checking in at the Nomadic Journeys office and getting my paintings to the frame company. Nice frames for all the paintings came to $500. The museum is also printing large and small posters and invitations for the opening ceremony, which will be this Friday from 4-6pm.
On Wednesday, I boarded a train to Dalanjargalan, where the felt-craft collective that I help support, Ikh Nart Is Our Future, is based. I stayed at a private home and spent a lovely day with some of the members of the collective. Our meeting was very productive with new ideas like making del (the traditional Mongol garment) for visitors to the ger camp. In the evening there was another meeting with the soum (county) governor, Oyuntsetseg, who I met at the first meetings to help set up the collective in 2009. Back then she was the Vice Governor of the Soum. It was really nice to see her again.
Then it was off to Red Rock ger camp at Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve. I saw a number of people I know from past trips, got to eat some of the summer white food (dairy products like airag, orum and yogurt) and see a variety of wildlife like argali, ibex, cinereous vultures, tolai hare, pikas, lizards and other birds.
I got back late yesterday afternoon. Today will be a meeting at the museum to finalize plans for the exhibition and then another meeting about the WildArt Mongolia Expedition. Updates when available.