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Day Three: To Nayngezi

Having experienced the shock of the poverty the day before, I was better prepared for the drive back out to Nayngezi. We stopped for bread, and while we waited in the car we watched the police hassle drivers to get money out of them. I just kept thinking “please don’t drive down that road, we are muzungu.” Luckily our road went the other direction. Here you can see some shots of the trip out of Bukavu.

We got out of the city and into the beautiful rolling hills of banana trees.

And eventually ended in Nayngezi at the Shiloh Center. It turned out to be a half completed building with a dorm on one side and a meeting room on the other. There was a small clinic out front. They were putting together beds purchased with our payment for the women in the large meeting room.

Some shots inside the Clinic:

This is the labor room:

We had dinner with the group from the US and thought they were rather cynical about the people of Nayngezi. It seems the plumbing was tricky, choosing to only work in one room at a time, the help asked for everything and the people took anything they could get their hands on, including digging through the trash to find useful things. They only got electricity at certain times, and we waited for the hour to come when it would be turned on. We had been in Africa for three nights, and slept in a different bed each night.

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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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