Visiting Mongolian Families
We made our first visit to a Mongolian in the Gobi. Four generations lived in this Ger. The children were home from the
village where they lived at a boarding school during the year. This was the families smaller summer Ger. They also had a
separate Ger for the children. The parents were also responsible for sending food to the boarding school for their five

There is a special etiquette to a Ger. The women's side of the tent is just inside the tent on the right in the kitchen area.
The men sit in the back half of the Ger. The children sit in the front of the Ger with the women.
In the back of the tent is
the sacred area.
Beginning a couple years
ago, televisions with solar
panels became widely
available to Ger families.
The solar power charges
a battery and powered
both the TV and a CD
player and in some Gers
powers an electric light
bulb in the evening.

Our hosts were very
gracious offering us
cheese and vodka from a
common silver bowl.
Jackie sat with the
women while I sat in the
more prestigous area
with the men.
Outside, the father leaned on
his motorcycle. The solar
panel can be seen on the
roof top. The satellite dish
resides on the other side of
the Ger.
There are almost no trees in southern
Mongolia. So, like their predecessors
for thousands of years, the nomads
gather dung to make their fires. Here a
girl collects dung for the stove in the
On our next to last night
in Mongolia, we stopped
at a Ger in northern
Mongolia. This one was
larger than the one we
visited before. There was
a kitchen area, three
single beds, and three
dressers with family
pictures, carpets as well
as a TV and electric light
bulb powered by solar
It was dusk. Our hosts served us cheese and other
goodies. As we were sitting there, two horses kept
poking their heads in the door of the Ger.  It was that
time of the evening, so our host arose and went out to
give the horses their evening treat.

Below, girl herder goats in the Gobi.