Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Winding-Up Weeks

Kim and Gaye Brown and Eric Wunderlich, who are wheelchair specialists from Salt Lake City,  arrived in Ulaanabaatar on March 14, 2011 after spending 24 hours enroute and a total delay of 31 hours.  They were exhausted.  

 We spent a couple of days with them interviewing potential partners and finally decided to have DIC partner on the next wheelchair project with the Social Welfare Service Office and the National Rehabilitation Center.  DIC is currently partnering with them on a project, so this will be an augmentation of that partnership.

Before they left UB, Kim and Gaye did a wonderful abbreviated training for about 15 doctors, etc. from the National Rehabilitation Center.   They will return to Ulaanbaatar in the fall to provide two 3-day training sessions to DIC's partners on how to assess, fit and train potential wheelchair recipients.

April found DIC's office piled high with files and information about the garden project, and boxes of gardening manuals that needed to be distributed.  

April 3rd, we had the missionaries from the Khailaast/Sukhbatar District come to our apartment for dinner along with Elder Raymond and Sister Mary Jane Anderson who were just finishing their second mission in Mongolia.

April 4th, DIC met with the Service Department and Rehabilitation Center about wheelchairs and then with Dr. Munkhzaya, Dr. Chimgee and Shastin Hospital #3 to tell them that Dr. Munkhzaya has been selected by the committee to receive a fellowship from DIC/the Church to do an internship in vitreo-retinal surgery in India.  Currently, no one in Mongolia can do this type of surgery.  Following that, DIC met with 1st Hospital to tell them that their candidate wasn't selected.  They were deflated.  We wish two fellowships could have been awarded.

April 5th - 9th, Dr. Dennis and Nancy Hughes from Bountiful, Utah who are neonatal resuscitation specialists, came to Mongolia. We picked them up at 11:20 p.m. on the 5th and took them to the Chinggis Khaan Hotel where we visited about the project.  They had come Mongolia to become familiar with the neonatal resuscitation project and to help us plan the neonatal project for 2011.  There is a new worldwide program called "Helping Babies Breathe" that they would like to implement in Mongolia.  We told them that it would totally be up to our partners Dr. Soyogerel of the Ministry of Health and Dr. Bayasaa from the Maternity and Child Health Research Hospital.  The next day, we had a great meeting with Dr. and Nancy Hughes and our partners.  

 Dr. Soyogerel and Dr. Bayasaa where like children with new toys as they examined the new resuscitation kits and the new materials that DIC/the Church would provide as part of the project.  They enthusiastically endorsed the move from the current method (which was very similar) to the new updated program and helped make plans on how to implement it this year. 
We toured some of the hospitals and delivery rooms.  Then Richard worked with the Hughes to write up the project development worksheet.  Before they left for home, they had a little fun: they joined us for dinner with the senior couples and President and Sister Clark at the Chinese restaurant, visited the Buddhist temple by Millie's with us, Nancy took Batkhand shopping with her, we all had lunch with the partners, and we took them to the cultural show at Tumen Ekh.  We really enjoyed their visit and feel that James and Anna Richardson are very lucky to be able to work with the Hughes on the neonatal resuscitation project this fall and vise versa. 
April 9th and 10th, we watched General Conference in President and Sister Clark's home and enjoyed the association with them, the senior couples and several expatriate families.
April 11th, DIC presented a wheelchair to a man whose legs were amputated because of diabetes.
April 13th, DIC requested a supplemental budget for the garden project because 65 more families asked to join the garden project.  Most of them had really good reasons why they hadn't met the deadline and because it was important for them to participate, an additional $12,000 was requested.
April 14th to 22nd, we conferred with garden coordinators and allocated funds for the garden project.  Garden coordinators periodically dropped by the office or called us.  It was like someone had made appointments for them to talk to us.  We informed them about what the gardeners in their unit should receive, how much they could spend, where they might shop, and the procedures for purchasing the items.  The garden coordinators were really enthused about the project.  Before long, Richard had written stacks of payment requisitions to supply funds for garden supplies.
DIC signed a three-way agreement with the Ministry of Social Welfare Office and the National Rehabilitation Center for DIC to bring in 850 wheelchairs and 350 other mobility devices this year.

DIC signed an agreement to provide a fellowship for Dr. Munkhzaya at Shastine Hospital so he can go to India for 15 months to study vitreo-retinal surgery.  Currently there are no ophthalmologists in Mongolia who can perform surgery for the inside of the eye.
Richard Lasson, Hospital administrator, and Dr. Munkhzaya


  1. Dear Carol and Richard, I know that you loved your mission and that it is with mixed emotions that you come home. Just know that you have done your very best. You have served the people of Mongolia with all of your heart and all of your energy and love and they have been blessed to have you there. The church does wonderful things to help the needy nations and you have been the directors to see that the work was done in an excellent manner. I am proud of you. Always and forever, MOM

  2. I know that you don't know me but I am trying to get a hold of Erik Wunderlich and having the hardest time! I googled his contact info and your wonderful blog experience came up. Is there any way that you could forward on to me his contact info? Thank you so much! My email address is Thanks again and what a wonderful experience!