The Byambatogtoh Family

Gers, Camels and Motorbikes…

Mongolia is divided into Aimags (Provinces). Early one morning, I went out to the Dragon Bus Depot to catch a bus to Bulgan Aimag, west of the capital Ulaan Baator.

Click on the image to see the Dragon Bus Depot in 360 degrees.

After a six hour bus ride, I arrived at the ger home of Mr. Byambatogtoh. The Byambatogtoh Family is a nomadic herding family that moves four times per year with the weather. The family owns 40 horses, 10 cows, 3 camels and 400 sheep and goats. When I arrived, I was welcomed traditionally with milk tea, sweets, and biscuits. Lunch was a delicious fresh noodle (I watched it being made!) and more tea. After lunch, I accompanied Mr. BYambatogtoh’s son to herd the camels on motorbike! We then rode the camels 14 kilometers to a Buddhist sacred space.

The next day, I traveled to the home of Mr. Otgonbayar

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. The family was wonderfully welcoming, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone: I spent the most time with the grandparents and children. While attempting to communicate with the sixty-two year old grandmother with a phrasebook, I shared photos on my iPad. I then showed her Photobooth. She LOVED seeing herself and playing with photobooth.


Sadly, after two days in the countryside, I became sick due to a lack of a sanitation system. It was a strong reminder of the importance of continued development work necessary around the globe. Watch the video for the ‘Reinvent the Toilet’ initiative that my good friend Sara is working on with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, universities around the globe are working to develop toilets that can be functional without a water system. That’s Smart People doing Good Work!

  • Nancy

    Diana – I love you. I love the love you’re spreading. I love your friend Sara and the work she’s doing to help people get their sh*t together. I love grandma Otgonbayar. I love that there are people out in the world connecting people to information that matters and showing folks what they would look like in a fun house mirror. Is there anything you need while you travel? How could I make contact to send you something? I miss you here in Baltimore but it makes it easier to see this blog and know what an awesome experience you’re having!

    • The Traveling Teacher

      Oh, be assured, that I am receiving MUCH more love than I am spreading! Sara and I just returned from the Gobi where there were many examples of the need for the work she is doing! She is incredible and an inspiration.

  • Tinkham Town

    Love what you are doing, Diana. You are way too cool and wonderful for words.

    • The Traveling Teacher

      Awwww… thank you, Mister Tinkham. Right back atchya. I love watching the progress of ! Keep us posted & keep making a difference!

  • cienjana

    what wonderful photos! im sorry you got sick my friend. time to bust out to first aid kit!

    • The Traveling Teacher

      You know I grabbed for that FirstAid kit immediately! Love the thermometer!

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