3Nations: Relocation Day

If you would like to follow the 3Nations posts from the beginning then head to the expedition page

Wednesday 22nd July 2009

Well, yesterday certainly threw the plan out the window!

I awoke on the floor of Ed's 'calm room' to realise that it wasn't some sort of dream... we really had been evacuated and our little bubble had not so much burst as decided that it would much rather do an impression of a snow globe.

The buzz from yesterday had started to die down a tad, everyone was safe, there were some that weren't exactly in good shape... but PJ (our medical wizard) was on the case and things were looking very positive.

A small group, made mainly of the expedition leaders and some of the Mongolians, ventured back to the site to check out what the damage was and to figure out what we should do to protect ourselves should it happen again. While we were doing that we were told that we could go explore Zuunmod.

A couple of us had decided that we should go on the hunt for a newspaper, not to get clued up on the news in Mongolia... or to enjoy the suduko or crossword (which would have been a tad difficult given the language barrier)... but so that we could stuff our boots and try to dry them out. We did manage to find plenty of shops, none of which had signs on the outside... or newspapers for that matter.

And to be honest, there didn't appear to be that much more to Zuunmod, that we saw that day anyway. Just a load of nameless shops, which you could easily walk by.

But it was time to start heading back up to the site. The kit was thrown (literally in some cases) back into the mini-buses and trailers and we hiked up to the site.

This was the storm damage to the site

It ripped right through some of the gers.

And the outside of the gers got pretty battered by the hail stones.

It had been decided that we should move the site, so that if there was another storm we would no longer be in the way of the run off water.

The way gers are supposed to be moved is to systematically de-construct them, load them onto either a vehicle or your cattle, move to new site and re-construct it. Which would be fine if you have one or two, we had 12.

If we didn't want to sleep outdoors then we were going to have to do things slightly differently.

3Nations Guide to Relocating Your Ger (the 'Quick' Method)
  1. Recruit about 20 mates to help you.
  2. Tie the door of the ger open.
  3. All but two of you go inside the ger.
  4. One person stand in the middle, two people grab the poles holding up the centre of the roof, everyone else lines the walls.
  5. The ones lining the walls crouch down, grad some trellis, and lift... you are now relocating your ger!
  6. The person in the middle, with the help of the people outside, are to guide you - remember you can only see out of the tiny little door at the front (so they had to be spun round first to go up the hill).
  7. When lowering your ger, make sure to push out on the trellis... or the roof will fall in on your head.
  8. It is also advisable to get another team to move the flooring while you are walking to ger up the hill, so that it will be ready for your arrival (good puzzle/jig saw experience may be required)
If you want to see this method is action, check out Marks video.

*waits for you to come back*

It always reminds me of the Luggage from Terry Pratchetts Discworld. But it was this method that we used to move all the gers...

...by one.

... single...
... one
 Needless to say, this took up about the entire day, and we were absolutely knackered. I remember having to curl up in a corner at one point and get an hour or so sleep... I think I was still recovering from the evacuation day.

Lessons learned:
  • Nowhere in Zuunmod sells newpapers.
  • The Peace Corp are everywhere... including the tiny town of Zuunmod.
  • Gers are designed to be transported a certain way, and it is that way for a reason.
  • Apparently Coca-Cola in India make a lime fizzy drink, which cannot be exported from India... because it contains cyanide.
  • Fishing for bones when preparing the groups lunch can be made even more difficult when you're trying not to loose any of the vegetables.

Thanks, again, go to those who I borrowed photos from!