I must let you all know something before I begin this post. Because of the nature of the large group that I am traveling in, I have to be wary about how I blog. Our director has asked us to not post about a specific location until we have moved on to a different place. For this reason, I am going to talk about Mongolia in general instead of the specific area where I am staying.
Mongolia is a fascinating country of contrasts. The capital city is Ulan Bataar (UB) and it is the only major city in the whole country. The previous Russian influence has resulted in architecture and city planning that one could find in Eastern Europe. Buildings have relatively plain facades and nondescript signs speckle the exterior of businesses. However the city is bustling! Mongolia has a population of about 2.7 million and more than half live in this one city. UB is an overcrowded city that fits in with any other city in Asia.
For me this means sacrificing taking a lot of pictures around the city. When I cart around my huge Nikon, I feel more conspicuous so I've decided to limit how much I bring my camera around. Hopefully before the week is over I'll have some pictures up!
We have started our Paleontology and Developmental Biology class. We meet in a monastery across town and endure four hours of class on the most uncomfortable benches my butt has ever known. However, we do go on field trips often which helps to spice up monotonous geology lecture.
I'll post again later this week so until then hope everyone is well!