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A Song and Poem
Selenge Survey Expedition Song
Words by Barbara Hayford, © 2004

Sung to Mongolian traditional tune “Migrating Birds”

We have come in friendship and in peace,
From far away, across both land and sea,
To share your love of fair Mongolia,
Land of blue sky and blu-u-e water.

Open our eyes
Let us learn your secret heart
Unite us,
In wisdom and lore,
And let us sing your so-o-ng back to you.
Together we explore your lakes and streams,
Cross open steppes under the blu-u-e sky
Climb each mountain pass, go higher and higher
To find Mongolia, land of blue water.

We must leave and so-o-n say goodbye,
Migrating birds we only stay awhile,
We take Mongolia home with us,
In your memories of your friendship, smiles and songs.

campfire song photo
photo courtesy of J. Gelhaus
(Best sung with friends around a campfire on the Mongolian steppe with a wee bit of Mongolian vodka passed around.)

Hangai Mountain Expedition 2004
Selenge River Basin Insect Survey Project

A Poem by Ms. Khandsuren “Khandaa” (Expedition Manager for Selenge Project)

Green color is the decoration of the summer
Multi-colored flowers are the decoration of the steppe
Water-birds are the decoration of the lakes
Rainbow is the decoration of the summer sky

About Expedition | The First Jeep | The Second Vehicle | The Third Vehicle | The Fourth Vehicle | The Last Jeep
The Rivers | The Researchers | Cookers and Drivers | Happy | Sad | End

About Expedition

There were 24 people in the expedition
There were 24 days during the trip
There were five vehicles on the golden road
There were two of camping and sampling
The name of the Expedition was Entomology
The findings of the Expedition were insects and larvae
The things of measuring were mountain’s height and river’s level
The things of saving were food, petrol and time.

Eight people came from abroad
Sixteen people came from Mongolia
They all were a big family
They all were warm-hearted colleagues.

There was a hard principle among the five vehicles
They never violated the principles
They had just a purpose
They had to go by a road.

What vehicles were there?
Would you like to know them?
If you want to know them
I will introduce about them.

The First Jeep

The jeep came from Khentii
The jeep was very reliable
The jeep was to lead the others
The jeep was named “Leader Jeep”
Bagaa was the driver of this jeep
Bagaa was very kindly and responsible.

But he was a bit of a sleeper
But he never lost his job.

A foreign professor sat on the right hand of the driver
Who was called John Morse
The map of Mongolia was always with him
His knowledge was great
He was one member of the family.

The translator sat behind him
Who came from Khentii province
She liked getting up in the morning
Her hobby was climbing up the mountain
Her given name was Khandaa
The Expedition gave her the name “Wild Goat.”

Mr. Jon Gelhaus sat on the left hand of the translator
He came from America
Everybody liked his laughing
Really, he was kindly and good-hearted.

Doctor Namkhaidorj sat right behind the driver
He was like the map of Mongolia
His responsibility was showing the direction
His memory was wonderful.

Those five people were travelling in this jeep during the expedition
Sometimes the leader jeep confused
Somebody called it the “Confused Jeep.

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The Second Vehicle

The second vehicle followed the leader jeep
This vehicle was a van
The driver of the van was Tumur
The driver became the father of 22 children
This man got married to the lead cooker for 24 days
Andrew sat beside the driver
He started his interest in insects when he was five
Already he had decided to be an entomologist.

The next two members were also of the van
They came from Lithuania
They were named Virginija and Sigitas
They were two of the nicest people of the expedition
The little girl who was named Erin
This was her first visit to Mongolia
The food was very difficult for her sometimes
She was missing her parents and her country
She was happy during the trip sometimes.

One of the cookers was named Deesuren
She gave birth to 22 children in her life (expedition).

Mr. John Morse was her oldest son
Ms. Virginija was her youngest daughter
She cooked tasty food
She liked to joke very much
She loved all her children
The children all had different fathers.

The youngest cooker was Bayarmaa
She was a very pretty girl.
She cooked the meals very well.
She was really kind.
Everybody liked her.
A man fell in love with her.
But she didn’t reciprocate his love.
Because she loved another man.

There were seven people in this van.
Their van’s name was “The Longest Legs Van”
Also it had another name
“Big Nose and Crooked Leg Van.”

The Third Vehicle

The truck followed the van
There were two people in the truck
The driver was Naraa
Naraa was always quiet while he was driving
Ariunaa was also quiet while she was travelling
There wasn’t any music in their truck
There wasn’t any talk between the driver and Ariunaa
They were both quiet during the trip
Therefore the truck was named “Bored Vehicle.”

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The Fourth Vehicle

The green jeep followed the truck
The driver of the jeep was very elegant
He liked washing himself and his car
He was a little obstinate
There was an old foreign person
He ate very little
Also he became hungry very easily
His name was Naazaa (Ignas)

Oyunaa sat right behind of this man
She wanted to go to her home when she was missing her children.
She wanted to meet her husband when she was missing her husband.
She wanted to stay here for more days when she found new things.

Uugnaa sat on the left side of her
Usually she dreamed of her boyfriend
She was rushing to meet him in Tosontsengel
She was very happy when she met with him.

Nasaa was a student of professor Namkhaidorj
She dreamed water-beetles when she slept.
She looked for the insects in the river when she woke up.
She adhered to her teacher’s doctrine
Everyday she thought about his words
She wanted to find out new things
She increased her sphere of knowledge.

The green jeep had two names
’One name was “The Fourth Vehicle”
The second name was “Naked Jeep.”

The Last Jeep

The super jeep came from Khentii
The gray sixty-nine was the last one.
The jeep was called the “Last Vehicle”
The jeep was youngest of all
The jeep had four brothers
The jeep never was ahead of all
The jeep had a lot of flies one time
That is why it became named the “Black Fly Jeep.”

Bayaraa was the driver of the “Last Vehicle”
Bayaraa was born in Khentii
Bayaraa was a good helper for all
Bayaraa was a kindly man.

Barbara was one boss of the trip
Barbara liked joking with the group
Sometimes it was difficult for her
Because she missed her children and husband
After sampling she collected the news
At this time she always had a big red binder
She walked quickly between the cars
Noted, wrote, asked, talked and answered for all.

Sanaa sat right behind the driver
She dresses like a man
She could be a wrestler if she was a man
She is a very determined lady
Suvdaa was a student of Professor Morse.

She usually worked with her teacher
After the collection in the afternoon and evening
Munkhou had a baby
She was a kindly girl
She went back to UB.

They all went up and down the many valleys
They all crossed many rivers
They all investigated many kinds of insects
They all traveled together for a long way.
They saw many good things
They visited many nice places
They admired the beauty of the nature of Mongolia.
They counted themselves lucky people.

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The Rivers

Quiet flows the river of Tuul
Long and nice river of Orkhon
Red and Hujirt rivers
Quick flows the river of Chuluut
The back and front side of the long Tamir
With clean water the river of Tsenkher
On the wide steppe river of Khaniu
Beautiful and clean the river of Ider
Big and small rivers of Solongot
Arjargalant and Kharzain rivers
The narrow river of Grinj
Three rivers of Terkh
Clean rivers of Zegst and Zagastai
Wide rivers of Tarni and Sarai
The Mountains and Davaas
The steep davaa of Eg
The improved davaa of Solongot
Elsen Tasarkhai and Shapt’s davaas
The Terkh’s white lake is beautifully set in the steppe
The Angry lake is beautifully set in the forest
The Mandarin ducks are beautifully set in the Swan Lake
The Ogii lake is beautifully in the bulrush
The beautiful waterfall of Orkhon
The Big Stone “Taikhar”
The forest “A Hundred Trees”
Ancient capital of Mongolia -  Kharkhorin
Ancient center of Buddhism of Mongolia – Erdenezuu
Ancient volcano mountain of Mongolia – “Khorgo”
Ancient historical temple of Mongolia – “Shankh”

They mostly had lunch between 1 and 2
They mostly camped between 7 and 9
They mostly left between 11 and 12
They mostly travelled for 6 and 7 hours.


They went quickly as soon as they came to a sampling place
Then they started to grope for insects in the water
and picked them up from the ground
Some of them dug the ground for ground insects
Some of them went to the forest for insects.

When they were having lunch and dinner
When they were travelling for a long way
When they were resting somewhere
When they were talking about something
Their eyes usually looked for the insects
Their eyes usually interested in everything.

Their eyes usually looked on the ground and the windows of vehicles
Their eyes never rested during the trip
They quickly put the found insects in the small bottle
The insects were drunk in the alcohol
They made the collection when the insects died
They wrote their names on the bottles

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Cookers and Drivers

The cookers thought about lunch at breakfast time
Then again they thought about dinner at lunch time
Also they thought about breakfast at dinner
The drivers often helped the cookers while they were preparing the meal
They (took turns) on duty day by day
The person on duty got up early in the morning
Then he made a fire, tea, wood, and prepared the food with the cookers.


They were happy when the weather was nice
They were happy when they found new things
They were happy when it wasn’t rain
They were happy when there wasn’t any delay


They were sad when there was rain
They were sad when they found nothing
They were sad when they missed their family
They were sad when they were separated from each other.

Between each other the Mongolians wanted to call all foreigners by other names
So they called them by the names on a deck of cards

They called John Morse:
1) Ace
2) The general
3) The first boss

They called Jon Gelhaus:
1) The King
2) The President
3) The second Boss

They called Barbara:
1) The Queen
2) The third boss of the expedition

They called Andrew:
1) The Jack
2) Tall Man

They called Erin:
1) The Ten
2) Daughter

They called Ignas:
1) Sain naizaa (good friend)
2) bearded person

They called Sigitas and Virginija:
1)husband and wife

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The End

They had those principles in their trip
They had those jobs during their trip
They travelled for 24 days
There were 24 people during the trip.

I am sorry Everybody!
I am not an author
I am just interested in the poem
I tried to write about the expedition
Don’t be angry with me if you don’t like it
Don’t scold me when you read it
Don’t be offended when you listen to it.
Don’t forget it if you like it.

© Khandsuren, July 26, 2004

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