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Mongolia Civic Actions Project

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I recently returned from Mongolia after working with Alaska Army National Guard and Hawaii Army Reserve personnel on Exercise Khaan Quest 08.

This tread highlights the superb work of the 411th Engineer Battalion from Hawaii. Their mission was to link up with a Mongolian Army unit and spend 16 days undertaking a major renovation to a dilapidated school dorm in the village of Altan Bulag (Golden Spring) about 1.5 hours west of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

The living conditions there were appalling, and the goal was provide a warm, safe, and secure place for 140 young school kids before winter set in with a vengeance. It snowed a few days before the fellas from Maui arrived, but then a strange thing happened. The weather warmed up, the winds subsided, and a fine span of Indian summer reigned over the remote steppes. The buzz in the village was that the strange weather came on the plane from Hawaii.

Something else gradually happened. Something we never expected. We came to give something to the village, but in the end, we took home far more than we left behind. After sharing food, playing sports, riding horses, hearing about their history, their hopes and their dreams, and working side by side with them from early morning to well into the evenings, we came to be family. These fine country folks touched our hearts and became our extended Ohana in Mongolia.

We hope to return next year, and partner with the Peace Corp and some NGOs on an even bigger project. If all goes well, maybe you can contribute to this deserving community.

Click on the link below for pictures and more info.

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