April 5, 2018 continued
By the time we got to the Neruta family-clan Camp, we were exhausted (or at least I was), but the day wasn’t over. The herders has a lot of work to do and they couldn’t just drop everything, so they were in and out. The camp has a small generator which runs a few lights. There is no running water. Ice is brought inside and melted. There is a small wood burning stove in the middle of the chum, which is used for cooking and heat. There are a couple of small tables and stools. The outside edges of the chum are lined with reindeer hides and big cushions, and this is where everybody sleeps.
The man sitting center-right in the checked shirt is Alexei Ledkov, the owner and operator of this reindeer herd, Brigade 7, a term left over from Soviet times. He operates it with his son, Nikolai.
We were offered a traditional Nenets dinner consisting of tea, bread, raw frozen reindeer, reindeer soup and reindeer blood I passed on the blood. I tried to put in a video of Toby and Kelly drinking it, but I couldn’t get it to upload, so I’m putting it on Facebook instead.
After eating and some talking, we went to sleep on the floor of the chum. Even with a sleeping bag, it was cold. I went to sleep with my whole tundra suit on.
Tomorrow’s Post: Nelmin Nos and the reindeer games!