13.10.2013 0 °C
So, I saw a chance to write a piece again :-) Weekend #8 in Mongolia.
During the past weeks I mainly focused on developing a good (final) internship plan and arranging all things for my data collection. Also not especially the most interesting things to write to you about in detail, from day to day ;-) but now, after a few weeks, it’s maybe nice to give an update again.
Last week I heard that I officially can “GO” continuing my internship, which is great! Before I heard that, I already continued with all my activities here of course :-)
Also because of Jacqueline’s request for a brief outline of my research and what I would like to reach with it, I will write a little bit about my actual study here in Nalaikh. In the beginning of this year, Duya, the addiction nurse from the Mental Health and Addiction Cabinet of the Nalaikh District Health Centre, had indicated the need for treatment or support programmes for family members of heavily drinking or alcohol addicted persons in Nalaikh. She pointed out that existing support and treatment programmes are focused on the alcohol using person him- or herself and that only one past project also focused on the relatives of these persons (by offering information to them on the effects of alcohol (ab)use in the so called sobering-up centre at the police office in Nalaikh). Thus, when I came with my question about possibilities of conducting a research at the Nalaikh District Health Centre, preferably in the field of social health, these two ‘needs’ were combined by Ada. In order to find out what the family members of heavily alcohol using persons experience, feel, find important or need, due to this alcohol use or alcohol problem, I try to reach as many family members as possible and ask them (through a questionnaire) about these experiences, feelings and needs. Hopefully, I will be able to, based on the outcomes of the research, advise the addiction nurse and the health centre on important indicators to include in support or treatment programmes to offer to these and other relatives :-)
Based on the outcomes of my short pilot study, together with Duya I developed a questionnaire which I took to each of the Xoroos of Nalaikh last week. Nalaikh has 7 Xoroos and last week I visited each of them together with all my interpreters (at the moment, I work together with Ankhaa, Odno and with Tamiraa somtimes ;-)) which is nice. So the data collection has started. I hope some interesting and useful results will come out of it!
And besides all these work and study activities; last week Saturday it was beautiful weather again so we decided to do another part of Ada’s and my plan to walk from Nalaikh to Ulaanbaatar in parts. Wytze, one of the two other Dutch men in Nalaikh, also joined that day. We took the bus to the ‘toll gate’ of Ulaanbaatar and from there we walked through the big Khashaa-area all the way up to the planetarium and decided that it would be nice to walk back via the other side, via the ski area. Only we did not know that a huge fence forced us to walk all the way back via deep valleys and steep hillsides. Anyhow, it was really beautiful again and so warm that I could walk in a t-shirt that day!
Last Friday evening was also nice; Ada asked me to join her to a party from one of her Mongolian friends, who has a transport company which exists for 5 years now. So all kinds of business partners and other friends were invited and I could come as well. The party was in Ulaanbaatar, on the 16th floor of a huge hotel and conference centre (so we had a beautiful view!); it was nice to see how such a Mongolian business party is organised, with opera singers, live music, ‘stand-up comedians’ and a lottery. We met some really nice people there, had a great dinner and just had a nice evening, something different than sitting at home with a red wine ;-)
For the rest: I applied for my Chinese visa two days ago as I will have to leave the country and come back with a new Mongolian tourist visa. So next weekend I will be travelling to Erlian, just across the border in China, and hopefully I will be able to apply for my visa there and get it back in one day. Then Tuesday evening I will be travelling back to Mongolia to start with the second half of my internship period ;-) The great thing is that I don’t have to travel all by myself, but that this Wednesday my dad and his girlfriend are coming to visit me here! I’m really really excited to see them, to show them a little bit around here in the area and to travel together with them till the border of China :-) (and back again from there)
So, ‘see’ you again in a few weeks!