Monday, September 23, 2013

Neo - Natal Resuscitation Training / Krygyzstan

Our next stop was Bishkek, Krygyzstan.  We traveled back to Dushanbe on Saturday, then traveled to Bishkek on Sunday.  Elder and Sister Colton, the area welfare specialists joined us there.  One of the doctors returned back to the US.
Bishkek is a beautiful place.  The weather was great for us.  There seems to be quite a few Americans in town.  There is a US Air Base there.  The food was great and as usual, the people are friendly.
The trainings have been going on for several years here.  The medical professionals have all been trained.  The main focus here was teaching students at the medical school.  This will now be a part of their curriculum.  Krygyzstan has done a great job with training their people.  The church will now be a supporting presence and will help provide equipment when needed.
One of our main tasks to take care of was to get a new visa for Kazakhstan.  Our visas expired the day we arrived here, so we needed new ones so we could get back into Kazakhstan.
We met these cute kids while we were waiting for our visas.  They are from Korea and their parents are teaching school in Almaty.  The little boy was born in the US!
We normally go to Kiev to get our visas, so we were on new territory.  And without a visa clerk to help us.  We hit a few snags since the system is a bit different here than in Ukraine, but in the end we made it and got our new visas the day before we went back to Kazakhstan.

This is the city center.  We were in time to see the changing of the guard.

This is the "White House" or presidential offices for Krygyzstan.

This is the hotel where we stayed.  The ancient silk roads came through this part of the world.


We took a little tour into the canyon.  The mountains are beautiful.  We don't see that in Astana!  It is quite similar to the Wasatch Front Canyons.

A family was having a celebration here and invited us to join them!  It is very common to see men with these traditional hats all over Bishkek.

Then our driver took us out to the countryside to see a memorial.

This area reminded me of Cache Valley.  I almost felt like we were home!

This memorial is for those who were killed in a revolution a few years ago.  It's so peaceful now.

There are many felt souvenir shops here.

We had an opportunity to meet with a director for assistance for the handicapped and elderly of Krygyzstan.  We hope we can set up some wheelchair projects for this country.  The church has donated clothing here and wheelchairs in the past and we hope to have more cooperation with them in the future.  Hopefully, the success of the neonatal projects can help us go forward with more projects.
We also met with the leaders of GIZ, an organization based in Germany regarding future cooperation.

This is a traditional village set up as a restaurant.  We had dinner there with the NRT team and the church members in Bishkek.  There are sister members here, but no priesthood.  We enjoyed visiting with them and getting a tour of the village before we all returned back home.



This is Missionary Fun!

Neo - Natal Resuscitation Training / Tajikistan Khujand

The next day we were off on another adventure.  The ride to Khujand was quite a bit longer.  It took around 7 hours from Dushanbe.  It is a winding, steep road.  Very interesting to see the country.  There is almost no vegetation on the mountains.  In some places we saw farms.  We saw women picking cotton by hand, harvesting onions and other crops.  We also saw children riding to school on donkeys.  The driver said the landscape is similar to Afghanistan.

At one point, there is a tunnel.  It took about 18 minutes to get through it.  We all breathed a sigh of relief when we could finally see the daylight at the end.

You can see two exits here, but there is only one tunnel.  The other side was either never completed, or something.  So traffic goes both ways in the one tunnel.  And it is a pretty rough road because there's water seeping through the rocks.  Luckily, this is the dry season.
We came up quite high from the valley below.  There are so many mountains, they have to make the most of the arable land.


This stop had a lot of dry fruit stands.

This boy, Martin, works in his family's hotel after school.
We had lunch in this beautiful ball room.  (The White House)
We visited the local bazaar while the doctors had a planning meeting.

Lots and lots of melons!

This is the office building where the training was conducted.  It is obviously in the richest part of the country.  They tell us that Alexander the Great came through and conquered this land at one time.

Alan's getting pretty good at setting up the mannequins!

Some of the doctors that were trained last year came to help train more doctors here.  It was fun to see familiar faces.

It was quite a large group.  All doctors in this group I think.

Our friends presented us with these fabulous hats at the end of the training.  The doctors all got some awesome knives.

The Bennetts and their team have often been the first people from the church into a country.  The Minister of Religion told us that last year we were guests, This year we are friends, and Next year we will be family.  Then at the end, he said.  Actually we are family this year!  The Bennetts travel about 8 months of the year to far away places to establish these amazing relationships.  Next month they will go to Siberia and in December they will conduct the first training in Uzbekistan.  It was an honor to get to work with them again.

Jyldyz (on the left) is our translator.  She is from Bishkek, Krygyzstan.  She joined the church about 5 years ago.  She is a great help to us in these countries.  The other gal (Zaba) is a pediatrician that we met last year and loved visiting with again.
They got photo bombed!  Another of the lead doctors!
Our hosts took us to see this museum.  It is a replica of a place in St Petersburg.  During Soviet times, this area was a large collective farm.  They gave us a private tour.  Such an amazing place to see.

We saw several wedding parties.  These kids look like they're about 15 years old!

All of these designs are a bit different.

Amazing ceilings too

This is an inlaid wood floor in their "Tea House".  Incredible workmanship.

And they played their instruments to welcome us.  Wow!

Finally, they took us to "tea" which turned out to be a huge dinner.  The music was loud, so we couldn't talk, and since we don't drink, there was not much else to do, but dance!  It was an unforgettable night!  Who knew that these doctors can dance??