Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 13: The Way Home

Today our team continued to do the clinic while the kids and I held down the fort to keep anything from mysteriously walking away. I now know what a zoo animal must feel like, eyes peering over the wall at you all day and analyzing your every move. Pure curiosity about these strange white people who brought their children to this place where none have been in probably 30 years. We did have some laughs though. First, the curious onlookers kept trying to communicate the few English words they knew to me, as they don't speak the national language that I can understand. They kept saying something that sounded like, "Ice!," then smiling and running away. No idea what they were actually trying to communicate, but it provided some comic relief to the whole zoo situation.

Second, we ran out of water this morning, and since the team along with our mule and horse guys were all away, I locked the kids in our "upper room" and went to the river myself to get the water. It was all of about 5 minutes, grandparents. As I carefully maneuvered across rocks into the river, I bent down to hold the jug in the water when I noticed an enormous yak in the water, about 30 feet in front of me. He looked straight into my eyes and grunted a bunch of times. He would not break eye contact so I froze. I thought, "If I just stand here very still, I won't get stampeded by a yak who is freaked out by a white lady." He continued to grunt as I played statue for what seemed like an eternity before he lost interest and moved on without goring me. Whew!

On a more sombre note, the horse guy told me today, "I don't want to go back the way we came. It's too dangerous. Big people get hurt this way so we can't take your kids there again." Knowing that is our planned exit route did not give me much confidence in the safety of our return.

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