There was a part of the whole trip to Mongolia that I loved the most because of the action and intensity of the situation, and that was a dust storm…
Story by Ike Edwards, Mongolian Jamboree, 2017
It was getting towards the end of the day and a group of us had climbed a mountain and we were all tired.
Later that night we were all getting ready for a show that the Mongolian Scouts had made as part of the Cultural Day where every country there, dressed up in their national costume, performed for us.
As we sat down, I looked around admiring at this beautiful country, when I noticed massive brown and grey clouds. I didn’t think much of them at first, as I had my attention on the dancing and plays that were going on. When I looked over again, these clouds were coming up through the valley and a crazy wind was picking up, I pointed it out to a few others and we all started talking pictures because it was a very awesome site. I can’t really explain what I was seeing at that moment as I have never seen anything like it before.
Then the next minute there was a man’s voice over a loud speaker that was saying words in Mongolian and I asked a kid what it was. The kid replied go back to my tent, so I did and as I was running over there, I felt a few sharp pains on the backs of my legs. I kept running because everyone else in the camp was running and shouting and the man’s voice was still playing over the loud speakers.
As I got to my tent we were in the dust storm and that’s when I heard a voice outside side saying stay in your tent as a dust storm was approaching and that’s when I realized that dust or sand must have been hitting my legs.
As we were in the tent the Leaders were shouting and going from tent to tent asking for people’s names as there were a lot of people were missing. We had 5 people in a 4-man tent because we had to rush to a random tent for safety. It was crazy! We eventually found all the people in the end but it was very scary at that time.
Me and a friend called Max looked out the tent for a few seconds and were hit by a load of dust and sand, we could not see a thing, it was so thick. We zipped up the tent but dust was finding its way in through the smalls gap, so we all made masks out of our shirts and other things. I personally did this because I did not like the taste of the dust. My friend Max then came up with an idea that we film it so a mate named Archer stated the day, how many supplies we had left and what had been going on.
As we were filming we started hearing loud bangs from a distance and then we were hit with a massive gust of wind that we called the Big Gust, we heard smashing and crashing with the occasional crack, then another person come into our tent. That made 6!. Surprisingly they looked ok considering what was going on outside it was because they had been in a tent at another campsite. We pretended that we got up to day 41 on our film but we were in there for approximately an hour and a half. As it was me and my two-friends tent we didn’t have to get out to go to our tent, so we just stayed in there and went to sleep as they all left we said, “Bye and don’t die!”.
As morning came we awoke and looked outside, I was expecting to see a dust covered land but there was no dust as the rain had come later that night and washed it away and some of the structures too I suspect. We had a look around and the first thing I noticed was that my washing line had blown away with all my washing. We looked around some more and to our horror the amount of debris was massive. There was a hut that had blown down and a few chairs had blown into our site, considering the nights mayhem it surprisingly felt like another normal day, but I think we had it lucky because the Koreans had their whole camp site blown away.
This was just another great memory to add to the many I had collect over that trip.