Hearing Birds Fly: A Year in a Mongolian Village – Louisa Waugh

I can never decide whether I love or loathe books like this…. whichever, envy plays a large part! Whilst having spent almost 2 years backpacking might sound enough for some, I’ve not come close to spending the time that Louisa Waugh has done in ‘living the dream’. After travelling east on the Trans-siberian express for a second time, she spent two years living and working in the Mongolian captial, Ulaanbatur, before heading out to the remote western province of Bayan-Olgii to work as an English teacher.

This book is Louisa Waugh’s account of the 9 months she spent in and around the nomadic township of Tsengel (which means ‘Delight’ in Mongolian), home to Muslim Kazakhs, Mongol Halkhs and Altai Tuvans. In it, she tells of the people she met, the friends she made and the understanding she gained in this far flung part of the world, as well as providing marvellous descriptions of the drudgery and delights of daily life surrounded by the amazing beauty of the mountainous steppe.

More photos would have been good though, and don’t let the whimsical title put you off!

Buy it: Amazon link