Photography Anthony Favazza
Calligraphy Rossella Ferrario

Nature, immense extent of land unharmed by modern civilisation and wild horses were some of the first things I noticed upon my arrival in Mongolia.

A few years back I had a great opportunity to travel there and even if I knew very little about Mongolia my great curiosity and love for travel didn’t hold me back. I travelled in my favorite way “with the locals”, by Horse, Jeeps and motorcycles, sleeping in Gers offered by the Nomads found on our routes.

What really struck me was the immense free space around, fields where I would rotate 360 degrees and not even see an antenna or utility pole as I would in Italy in the most remote of country sides. One day in the wild steppes we encountered a family which was producing a small quantity of cheese made from fermented horse milk (Airag) for the winter and they had it all laid out on the ground to dry, “I asked them” isn’t it unhygienic to place it directly on the soil? Their answer “This soil is cleaner then the clothing you are wearing washed with synthetic chemicals”

The Nomads were very trusting with me, they shared everything even if they had very little. I rode on their horses which they rely on for getting food, hunting, moving their homes and to make their famous “cege” sour horse milk, traditional drink that they really love. Horses for them is like a car for us.

They’re beautiful Gers where built to withstand the cold in the harsh winters but very functional, easy to dismantle and to re build for their frequent displacements. Inside there was everything , a kitchen which also was their heating system, Bedroom/s, living area and dining area where I ate with 15 other people, so pretty big!

The children were extremely curious, always staring at me with their captivating smiles waiting for interaction. I took photos of them in their normal daily routines and after I left them a polaroid as a way of remembering the day Anthony came to their house in Mongolia, who knows if those Polaroids have survived today with their Nomadic lifestyle?

Extremely determined hard working people, good sense of humor and great hospitality is what I felt during my stay in the wild Mongolian steppes, hope to go back soon.

Posted by Petra Barkhof