So I’ve been two weeks back in the saddle and things are going well. I’m not sure exactly what went on while I was away, but I do know that the series of headache inducing meetings I have only heard about seem to have done wonders for our Little Engine that Could here in Bayanzurkh District.
The Recruitment Days for Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) began while I was away, and I returned to find an impressive momentum carrying not only the other VSO volunteers forward, but also the local staff. I was really impressed! My biggest challenge since I arrived has been figuring out how to secure the buy-in from the people I work with day in and day out, and it hasn’t been easy. But we’re getting there.
But then again, maybe not.
So on Thursday we finished up our last volunteer selection day, and we’re up to over 130 CHVs that now need to be trained and set loose as little health promotion heroes in their communities (they won’t have capes, but they will have horrid baby blue vests). That’s impressive progress, I do believe, and onward we went, planning for the trainings.
And that’s where things went awry. Why? Because that’s when my counterpart, the woman I frolic through this project with hand-in-hand, announced to me that as of this coming Monday (mind you, we were having this conversation on THURSDAY), she will not be in the office for three months. THREE MONTHS?! Yep. Two months of trainings, followed by a month of annual leave, and then welcome back to the EC Project in August. Oh great.
So what now? Well, there are still others working on the project, but no one in her role as CHV Manager for Bayanzurkh District, so we’ll have to figure that out. It should be okay…we’ll keep plugging away as usual…it’s just painfully ironic to me that just as things get moving – really moving! – we get this lovely set back.
But such is life in the land of zero planning. And so it goes.
Anyways, here are some photos from our trainings in the past few weeks. The days involve a group activity, some case studies about situations the CHVs might encounter in their communities, and a one-on-one interview for each candidate. Following their selection, the CHVs will go through a week of training at their local clinic and then more training at the District Health Unit. And then off they go to spread their knowledge amongst the community. Hopefully.
And that’s that. Here’s one final one from our Easter Day walk in Nalaikh. Those are all prayer flags tied to a lone tree out there in the dusty field.
At times the serenity of the countryside in Mongolia is simply breathtakingly beautiful to me.