Sand, sand and more sand, right?

Say the word "Desert" and people think of sand dunes, camels and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence,  better known as Lawrence of Arabia, do a picture search for him and you'll get a fine collection of photo's of Peter O'Toole. Now don't get me wrong, Lawrence of Arabia was a good film, and Mr O'Toole was a fine actor, but there is a whole lot more to deserts than men on camels. 
Lets start with a few pictures shall we, just to get us in the mood...
All Deserts look like this, Right?
Wrong!
Some actually look like this! That's not sand, it's ice!
The only thing to live in a desert is a camel! Oh and here's a few more things.
You've got Sheep, Cats, Rabbits and Foxes, not to mention the Wild Dogs and Prairie Dogs that are not even dogs but a type of squirrel, Not to be confused with a Marmot which is sometimes called a groundhog, although it's not a pig they do live in the ground. Here's a little video of a Marmot that makes me chuckle.

















Irrelevant but funny don't ya think? Now, where was I? Oh yeah! Animals...
So there's lizards snakes, spiders and various other creepy stuff, some things you can eat and some things that want to eat you, little animals and big animals. Some come out during the day and some at night when it's not as hot. In fact it can get blooming cold at night in a desert. Then there are the birds, hundreds of 'em. Little hummingbirds living off nectar from a cactus and big vultures that are just waiting for something or someone to keel over and become lunch. 
Talking of lunch, it's true that this may be harder to find in a desert than a rainforest. But if you know what you're doing it's out there somewhere, just not as plentiful and better hidden.
So you see, even though I'm guilty of saying it myself, deserts are not all about 'keeping sand out of your shoes'. There's a whole lot more to deserts than people think. There's a lot for people to learn about deserts (myself included). That's just one of the many reasons I'm joining Ripley Davenport next year as he and his band of men (and women) journey across the Gobi desert in Mongolia... Where is it? 
 So that's where it is, and this is what it looks like (in places) 
Nice eh!
So why am I going, why is anyone going for that matter? Easy... here's a bit I borrowed off the Gobi 2011 Expedition website

Our INTENTIONS
To trek the entire 1000 miles / 1600 km of the Mongolian Gobi Desert, the fifth largest desert on earth alongside the Khongoryn Els, the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia, from Bulgan a sum district of Khovd Province in the west, to Sainshand the capital city in Dornogovi province using a traditional method of desert transportation: the Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus).

To INTERACT: Produce an authentic and professional documentary film that depicts genuine adventure and the interaction between the indigenous people of the Gobi and the project team.

To INSPIRE: To provide the knowledge and enable all aspiring individuals to succeed in adventure and exploration and to inspire them with a life enhancing experience.

To ILLUSTRATE: To bridge the cultural divides and document and illustrate the indigenous lives, far removed from our own, who have proudly continued their way of life regardless of the spectra of climate change.

...as for the learning bit...

THE GOBI 2011 SCHOOL PROJECT
It is extremely significant to have a team who believes in ambition. How they can replicate your own ideas and strengthen it and grow stronger as the responsibilities are increased. It is my strategy to have many schools involved in the Gobi 2011 Schools Project and include the expedition as part of their curriculum. Schools, their students and teachers form a fundamental ingredient in our team and share assorted backgrounds, cultures and experiences.The core of our approach to the Schools Project is to encourage children to reach their full potential by making a more meaningful contribution to the world we live through academic achievement and adventure. What unites everyone is a shared sense of duty and enthusiasm fired by the belief that the greater your ambitions the further you will go.
The Gobi 2011 Expedition team would like to get young people involved and thinking about Mongolia. To enable you to easily incorporate the expedition into your classroom or home we will be assembling science, history, geography, social science and english based worksheets.
We hope that by incorporating these into your lessons you can begin a discussion with your class about the fragile environment of Mongolia, cultural divides and indigenous people and encourage an interest in the more remote parts of the globe with the young.
Temüjin, (Teh-Moo-Gin), our virtual team member will be passing on interesting facts about Mongolia throughout the teams progress and keeping an eye on all those schools participating in our expedition. We will be introducing him very soon!
If you'd like to know more then contact us about how you or your school can become involved in this amazing project!
Our worksheets will be available sooner rather than later!


Finally... Who on Earth is Alan?

Comments

Richard said…
Alan? Isn't that the Ambulance outside your house? I did wonder if the little furry thing got you confused with the ambulance.

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