Mother Lake” was the lifeblood of many Mongols in days gone by, it was the only source of salt which is a vital ingredient in Mongol milk-tea. People would arrive in caravans from all around, sometimes traveling for days on end, just to get the salt they needed. Thus, the lake was named “Mother Lake”. Odes and songs have been sung to her, and even I was to partake in the mystery of her spirit.

We arrived at the local government offices where I was introduced to the local cadres who would accompany me to meet my new family. After a simple lunch we jumped into the jeep motiongate tickets  and drove off along “Mother Lake”, her snow-like salty white edges almost seemed like a halo. The village behind us was soon out of sight as we drove off into the quiet hills. After about thirty minutes we came to a flat prairie and someone pointed at a terracotta brick home with a windmill up ahead, ” That’s your new home” they said. The house was very simple with only three small windows on the back. The sheep were roaming around one side and cows on the other side. Even the sheep looked up wide eyed in curiosity almost as if to greet our arrival.

We pulled up to the barbed wire gate and a robust man of about thirty came running out of the house to open the gate. He ran heavy in the big seemingly awkward leather boots. As he ran his beautiful turquoise Mongolian robe swayed with the stride just below the top of his boots . The smile on his windblown face gleamed like the salt halo around “Mother Lake”. He motioned the jeep towards the front door of the house, the fading blue wooden door was situated just at the middle of the house with a window at either side peering from the rooms on the east and west sides.

 

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