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Samantha Amer – HoISZL

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Ms Amer is one of the new members of staff this year. She loves travelling and has come from Asia to teach at ISZL. Through her many adventures she’s experienced many scary experiences and we asked her to tell us about one of them.

“I fell in love with Mongolia in the summer of 2015. We made such good friends that we wanted to go back, but this time we decided to visit in the winter which gets down to -45C. Preparing for that level of cold was terrifying – if we were underprepared, things could go seriously wrong.

We lived with a horse herder and his family for a week and were extremely well looked after. There were many scary moments, such as arriving for dog sledding and realising that we would be driving the sled… My Mongolian isn’t very good and steering became pretty difficult, especially at speed!

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I was also lucky enough to go herding with Zola, the head of the family, which is a traditionally done by Mongolian men. I was very nervous about the ride as Mongolians are extremely talented horseman and I hadn’t ridden regularly for years. The herd were around two hours away and by the time we had visited Zola’s neighbours it was getting dark and a blizzard was building. The snow was very deep and we were riding along a river bed, which meant the ground was quite treacherous as the river banks were hidden beneath the snow. We made it back with the herd safely and although I was scared, it was an amazing experience. The vistas were stunning and my love and respect for the Mongolian people grew.”

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So if you see Ms Amer in the corridor, ask her about her scary Mongolian sledding stories.

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