Mongolia Bound! Jonathan Evan’s Perspective

Mongolia Bound!   Bound being the word that should define our trip. No, I am sure that it doesn’t mean tied up and dragged by Eric S to the far reaches of our planet. Rather for me it means to have developed a bond with a land for which, at this point, I know little about. What will this bond mean to me? What will it mean to the people I meet?

I have been fortunate to have been placed in this situation before. Growing up as a minority in a culture that I was not born into and providing medical aid in impoverished Haiti come to mind. However, this will be a new situation for which it is unclear how well past experiences can prepare me.

Developing that bond will come at a price, the least being travel, the barriers of language and being out of one’s western comfort zone. The rewards however can be great: learning about a well rooted but mysterious (at least to me) culture, learning new customs, sharing conversations with people of different upbringings and perspectives. My curiosity about the “medical establishment” in Mongolia will further strengthen that bond. Does the medical profession view what we consider simple and common medical problems (e.g. chronic abdominal pain) and complex medical issues (e.g. chronic liver disease) the same way? What are the expectations of the patients and their families in regards to the medical care they receive?

As I explore these areas, and the others that will emerge once we are there, this bond will develop and strengthen. I am optimistic that it will be positive and durable on my end; hopeful that  it will be the same for the people who receive us.

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