This is my 100th post!
Oh, the pressure! What to write about?
Hmmm. I think I'll start with our camping trip.
I'm not really much for camping but it was nice to get out in the open with the kids and let them enjoy the sunshine and the river. Me, I just got a really bad sunburn. Don't get me wrong, I think camping can be a lot of fun. But if you're like me you spend most of your time digging for something in your backpack or reminding yourself not to complain out loud. My favorite part was when Hetee announced that it was time to start picking up the tents to leave.
Speaking of tents we had a really nice one from the container of stuff donated from Hong Kong. It was brand new and we had no idea it was so nice until we got there and set it up. It was big, with 2 smaller compartments inside, one for Nate and Abi and one for Hetee and myself (Kenny didn't come). Because of the closed-off smaller compartments, we were able to sleep totally bug free which was a huge blessing! I almost wanted to spend an extra night. Almost.
The river was nice. The water where we were wasn't deep at all so I couldn't swim much. It also had a funny smell, like too many cattle had passed through upstream. Yuck. But the kids had a lot of fun, especially Abi. She has been infatuated with water and swimming since she was tiny. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she was born in water?
Anyway, remember the granola bars I said we'd be taking on our camping trip? Well, I received some constructive criticism from Nate about them. Abi and I were eating ours for breakfast and I asked him if he wanted one. He said, "Nah. They taste like the countryside." I asked him what he meant and he said, "You know, grass, sticks, rocks." After I recovered I let him know, in a not-so-friendly tone that it was either that or leftover mutton from the night before. He chose the granola bar. Smart boy.
On the way to the camp site we saw 2 adult blue cranes with 2 baby cranes (what are they called?) They are so beautiful and very rare but we see them every year when they migrate to and from Japan.
We were also visited by a cuckoo bird. The kids thought that was the coolest.
Then, when we were about to leave, a Mongolian cowboy came by to ask for a cigarette. Hetee told him we didn't have any. Being the thoughtful daddy he is, he asked if the kids could ride the horses and the guy obliged. He seemed grateful for the conversation with Hetee and the other guys in our group. Nate and Abi thoroughly enjoyed their horseback riding and once again I was struck by how at ease they both seem in the saddle. Abi, who has a thing for horses , rode unassisted and didn't seem to think much of it. I thought of her Mongol ancestors who grew up in the saddle and were racing horses at Nate's age. I guess it's in their genes. I was so proud of them! Although I was a bundle of nerves to see my 3-year-old baby up on that big horse all by herself. Nate, I could handle seeing like that, but Abi just seems so fragile. I'm glad I kept my fears to myself because she was tickled pink about the whole experience and that much more confident in herself afterward. She's very shy and quiet so I know it was a good thing for her.
In case you're wondering why I didn't post any pictures let me just say that this camping trip was a mini-vacation from all things electronic. I didn't post any pictures because I didn't take any. =)