Getting into the Mongolian groove, we met up at 10:00 am to dig further into the questions that Baiteric staff had about credit union operations. Topics of appropriate loan criteria, sources of funding for operations, the balance between share capital and deposit funds, benefits of Credit Union membership, advertising options and some feedback about audit systems in Canada were covered.
The depth and completeness of their understanding of the issues in credit union management was a clear indicator of the level of sophistication present within the current management team. They demonstrated a real thirst to better understand how to meet their goal of 1000 members and 1 billion tugrogs within three years. It seems the notion of international members was a hot new idea and they plied us with requests to increase our own investment and savings account balances!
|A meal in a Kazakh ger|
Interspersed with soup, more appetizers and rounds of vodka, we addressed some of the specific credit union questions that Guljan had. We voiced support for the National Credit Union organization and clarified some old perceptions they had. Given her role in local aimag politics (Guljan is an elected aimag council member) we floated the suggestion of her joining the Board of the National organization to provide relevant rural input into development of the credit union system in Mongolia.
The afternoon wound to a close with Guljan’s husband’s uncle from Kazakhstan and his rendition of a traditional Kazakh song complete with dombra accompaniment (the traditional two stringed banjo like instrument of Kazakhstan). Further contributions by Guljan, a song by her husband and a Canadian effort of “This Land is Your Land” added to the Karaoke-like feel of the afternoon.
We parted at 6 pm with promises to get together later for dinner if their final wedding party with the family of the bride would end early. Alas, it appears the party went on as we never heard from them for the balance of the evening. Given the constant nibbling through the entire afternoon, we were glad for the break from further eating and relaxed til bedtime harkened.