Lara Prior-Palmer was the youngest person to ever finish the Mongol Derby and the first woman to win. Her book “Rough Magic” captures her thousand-kilometer race across the Mongolian steppe, describing the 25 ponies she rode and the many places her thoughts wandered.
“That day I realized: Mongolians know. Either they have survived or they know a survivor very well.”
Yuna Oyun—Mongolia’s first openly transgender woman—opens up about her journey.
“I was strong. I was a strong and independent woman. Then I got married, and I thought: I’ll just be married and be a strong and independent woman. Then I got pregnant, and Henry came, and I was nothing but a strong and independent woman.”
“Most schools have no students in tenth grade, because the women rarely gave birth that year. Even for five, ten years after the revolution, people didn’t want to have a baby, because they didn’t know what would become of their lives.”
“I don’t want to tell a lie. Sometimes I feel conflicting inside. I have to talk and read mostly Mongolian. Sometimes I forget—special Kazakh words, songs. Sometimes I try to talk with my relatives who don’t know Mongolian, and I can’t understand.”
“I met my second husband, Clyde, because of the three-day rain.”
“We started in the Gobi Dessert with a traveling trunk. Inside the trunk we had dinosaurs—fossils and tools for paleontology. We reached out to nomadic kids in small towns. They looked inside our trunk. It was their first time seeing a dinosaur.”
“I mean, there are amazing amazing people out there, Mongolians. I didn’t understand. But I didn’t really think much about it. I just left it.”
“Now, women collect money and feed the family and take care of the home. It is more easy for women to get the education and the jobs. It is more easy for men to get flying horses.”