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Day Five: Training Begins

The day stared with bead, eggs and coffee. It was to become the standard meal while under Amina’s care since she had no idea what to feed the American women. Things began looking up when Flory arrived early in the day with a van full of women. We had not been abandoned, the training would happen. The women settled into their rooms and we began to prepare for the teaching to begin after lunch.

We decided to break the ice by wearing the model baby on our backs, which combined with our Swahili greetings made the women laugh.

We told Flory about Georgette being a natural teacher, and he arranged for her to be the translator for the training. The day began with an introduction into the world of maternity care, and the ways a trained midwife could help.

The representative from the ministry of health came to officially start the training, warning the women that if they tried to assist a woman at home they would be put in jail. He left and we continued with infection control.

Women wandered in the rest of the day.

Flory had planned to spend an hour every afternoon walking aground Nayngezi visiting the local sites; so we ended the day with a walk to the hilltop to see the view.

We were feeling much better about our quest, and looked forward to the next day of training.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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