Mongolian Mumbles 7
After one of the coldest winters for 25 years, Mongolia has lost over 9.7 million head of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, yaks and camels but who knows what the human cost will be or has been already. Sadly much of that loss could have been avoided with a little preparation but it seems the Mongols have the same philosophy as many of the Arab world…. preparation invites disaster. Some of the blame can go back to Communist times as well when none of the herders owned their stock, they belonged to the ‘Party’, so it was the ‘Parties’ loss and the herders would be recompensed and given replacement stock.
We have personally survived the winter very well and rarely felt cold although you didn’t stay out in it too long and we had the appropriate clothing when we did go out, with that being the biggest hassle, dressing with so many layers to go out and then shedding when indoors. As I said in the previous MM, Nigel walked to work & home every evening, taking about 20 minutes one way and managed to avoid frostbite.
Nigel has been incredibly busy, working long hours trying to make a difference but at times it seems as if there is a very big brick wall comprising of all those things that thwart many in developing countries – greed, corruption, stupidity, ignorance, laziness…come to think of it all those things effect developed countries as well!!
As I have said before Nigel has a job with a German company paid by the EU for six and a half months a year until 2012 and he has to try and bring the Veterinary services in Mongolia into the 21st century which means helping all aspects of vet services – pathology, drugs, husbandry, knowledge, business acumen, etc which is a huge task working 52 weeks of the year let alone 27 weeks, so a huge task and very frustrating as well, as there is no continuity of service with Nigel not being there five and a half months a year.
Nigel was also asked to do another job for two months of this year with \FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation paid by the UN) helping out with the ‘Zuud’ which is the term for the cold conditions that cause high loss of stock. The ridiculous part of this, or the best part, is that he works three weeks for FAO and then one week for the German company and then back with FAO for three weeks which now means there will be fairly continuous service to the areas where it counts and is needed the most.
I have been busy with IWAM (International Women’s Association of Mongolia) projects which I have found to be very rewarding. We are really doing something to help and will give you a quick breakdown of the things that have happened in the past year. It is never a huge amount we give but hopefully it does make a difference.
Verbist Care Centre - Orpganage– beds and craft items
Notre Dame Orphanage – washing machine, fridge and stove plus clothes
Special School for Vision Impaired Children’s School 29, - 60 plus beds
Beverly Rhoads - beds
St Peter and Paul Cathedral - beds
Blind library, - computer
Uudrug Ehlel Horshoo Blind Cooperative, - 2 sewing machines and 1 overlocker
Family Vegetable program in conjunction with Khan Bank – vegetable seeds, fertilizer and fruit bushes
Metropolitan Police Child Care Centre – 3 sewing machines and 1 overlocker plus time and craft items
Educational & Cultural Utilisation Youth Development Centre – video camera, projector and white screen
Patients at the Cancer Hospital - quilted bags filled with many items for the mothers and children from the country who are having cancer treatment
Rainbow Centre for Autistic children – books and craft items
My Home Kindergarten, Erdenet City – books for their library
Faith, Hope & Love Kindergarten – 5 desks, 20 chairs, 2 washstands and 20 matresses with blankets
4H – Nomiin And – books for a summer reading programe
Patients at Mother and Child Hospital with baby blankets, baby clothes and toiletry bags.
All of these items have been given since I arrived in Mongolia and IWAM has been in operation since 1992, (two of the six founding members still belong to IWAM) so it really is pretty special to be part of and I think you can imagine what has been done over the years to help disadvantaged women and children. It is also our social network as generally we are doing something with IWAM at least 3 days a week and of course we need lunch as there is usually about 4 to 6 of us doing a visit or knitting or having a meeting. Although there is a core group of people many others come to help on an irregular basis.
Seeing as it has been months and months and months since I have written a Mongolian Mumbles I am going to send this off now as promised to several people and then I will try and finish the others that I have started and catch you up with where we are today. In actual fact we are just about to catch the train to the Chinese border to do a visa run so that should be fun.
Love to all and take care.