after touring, climbing and eating a picnic at persepolis, we came upon a nomadic family just outside of the ancient city. our driver pulled over and i walked to find the family. immediately i was swarmed by 50 or so goats, lambs, dogs and puppies who were very curious about my intrusion. the woman of the home greeted me and i asked in broken farsi whether the she would allow us a tour. with an offer of 50,000 rial ($5 USD equiv.), she obliged. i was struck at the system of life that worked so well in its simplicity but would only need to function for the next week or so before they moved on to another home. they moved homes about every month. their days are filled by work with little relaxation but i noticed without looking hard how content they seemed. the man did not stop smiling. we had tea in their home, shared a smoke of apple tabac in the ghalion (hooka) and i witnessed the aftermath of the birth of three baby lambs. i accidentally stepped on a smoldering fire left over from lunch and burned my foot. i love the scar that harks back to such an incredible experience where i was reminded of how little we need in life. this serendipitous encounter will always stay with me.