Guest Post: The Bard & The Bears on The Mongol Rally

by Nathan Hamm on 6/12/2012

Note: This is a guest post from The Bard and the Bears, a team preparing for the 2013 Mongol Rally.

The Gates of Hell is one out of many stops we expect to make on our journey. Now that’s a phrase you don’t hear very often — or ever, really. Unless what I’m currently writing is an epic. Which would make me something of a Herculean figure, I suppose.

In some ways though, our journey is like an epic. My team, the Bard and the Bears, are tackling the Mongol Rally next summer — a 10,000-mile drive from London to Mongolia for charity.

My name is Jaehak and my teammate, Vincent, and I are currently students at UC Berkeley. Our third teammate, John, attends Bard College. And together, only if you insist of course, we’ll all be a bit of a modern day Hercules for you.

Sure, the Mongol Rally is a bit posh when compared to the journeys Hercules or Odysseus undertook. We have no wailing sirens wooing us to death. We will face no hydras or fearsome lions.

Actually, we’re in an air-conditioned car. But if it makes this journey sound any bit more heroic, the car will be rather cramped. And this is for 10,000-miles, mind you. Imagine how terribly sore our legs will be. That’s a feat in and of itself, if I do say so myself.

But on top of that, the Mongol Rally sees us through a number of countries and cultures. One region we’re particularly eager to see is the Middle East and Central Asia.

I must confess that in these particular areas, your humble protagonists know fairly little. In fact, most of our knowledge on the regions comes from Borat. Last I heard, the good folks at Kazakhstan were not so pleased with that particular movie’s existence.

Of course, like good Americans, we’re trying to fix that deficit — from hours on Wikipedia to scouring Lonely Planet.

But most importantly, this journey would not be an epic if there were no good deeds. And folks, good deeds are aplenty on this trip.

Participating in the rally means supporting a charity of your choice. Ours is the Children’s Hospital of Orange County — a local nonprofit dedicated to providing top-notch quality care to children in need.

Moreover, most of our possessions (such as the car) will be donated to Mongolian charities, as per Mongol Rally guidelines, at the rally’s conclusion.

We’re hoping to live a modern day epic and I hope you join us for the ride. For those interested in donating to the Children’s Hospital, all relevant information can be found here. Those wishing to help the team can find out how here. But most importantly, give us a like on Facebook and show that you care!

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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