Archive for August 10th, 2008

The Congo Mafia

Tammy and I got a kick out of Flory’s cousin Florimond. He seems to be a well connected, important person here in the Congo. He has men who follow his orders, three cars at his disposal and even the general brought him a goat to thank him for giving him a bottle of wine. When […]

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The Clashing of Cultures

While Tammy was enjoying the scenic drives too and from Bukavu-a little too close to the cliffs for comfort- I was teaching the ladies about the almost common reasons for maternal death and what they could do to prevent it. I stated the day by having the women pull their chairs in close, told them […]

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The Quest for Manuals

By Sunday when Florimond came out to the center we still had not received the training manuals we paid for. It was agreed that Flory would go to town to get the copies. When the plan changed because it was too late to get a ride in and out of town, we decided one of […]

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The Baby Catcher

On our first full day in Nayngezi after the Americans had left and the Dr tried to get money from us, the other doctor came to ask if we would like to assist with a birth. I was working with Georgette on translations and thought Tammy would love to see what they do anyway so […]

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Flory was such a good sport during the whole training. He did some of the more difficult translations for us and sat in on most of the sessions. When talk got a little to improper for a Pastor, he would cover his face and wait for us to stop talking about mucus and girlie parts. […]

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Surprises and Sex Ed

The women were very interested in everything we were teaching. It didn’t occur to us just how much they didn’t know. With no formal education, no libraries and no one to ask questions, there were quite a few surprises. Our first surprise was the day we were teaching about infections, a topic we figured would […]

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This is Lobo, a man who works at the center. Lobo became friends with us instantly, even though he spoke no English. He taught us some phrases in the local language and came to greet us every day. He never asked us for anything, unlike just about everyone else we had met. On our last […]

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When Flory arrived at the training center he informed us there had been a problem with some of the women from Rwanda and that was what had kept him. They did not have the right paperwork to leave the country, and in the end he had to leave them behind. We got more of the […]

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Hands On Training

We knew we couldn’t just lecture to these women, so we were prepared with all manner of hands on activities for them. We stuffed the birth kits into plastic bags full of air and placed them under a pair of pants to have them learn about finding the baby’s position. Later in the week we […]

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We were so excited to meet Georgette, and the training would not have been successful without her. On the first day as we discussed eating in pregnancy the women complained that they could not eat well because they did not have money. I was getting ready to give a rehearsed answer about doing the best […]

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