A dozen people were on our tour across the dry, almost flat landscape on a rutted, dirt “road”. We were approaching a family settlement: a few “gers”, small animal herds, and a basketball hoop. As we drove closer we saw a couple of young men throwing baskets.
We stopped, and a couple of young men from our group intercepted their ball and joined them throwing baskets. A couple of family members came out of the ger to watch, and a couple more people from our group joined them.
No one except our tour leader was bilingual. But there was laughing and joking all around. One of the young men signaled us to wait, while he quickly went into the ger and returned with his baby son and a big grin.
It was heartwarming to reaffirm that we shared the common game AND the common pleasure in family.