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Kitchen and Eating

The kitchen was in the back of the center in a small flat area dug out of the dirt. Women from the community who work at the center were helped by the women we trained to prepare food. Here is the kitchen and staff:

Flory and Amina had budgeted for 35 women to be fed at the training. There estimate also included food for Tammy and I, Flory and Amina and two pastors who came to help as necessary. On the first day when I asked Flory how many women were coming he said it would be a surprise. I think that was his way of saying he didn’t know. At the end of day one we had 45 women, and by the end of day two there were 52. The village chief had heard we were there and sent local women to be trained. In the end, we gave out 53 certificates. We were feeding lunch to the 53 women, their children, us, the volunteer pastors and other people who may have included the kitchen help, men who work at the center and the security people. I don’t know how Amina did it, but we never ran out of food.

Dinner for Tammy and I was separate from the women. It was a cultural thing, as teachers we ate first and were left undisturbed. It was isolating even though it was meant to honor. Because of issues with electricity, we were served dinner in our room.

The food was rice, fried potatoes, meat in sauce and fresh pineapple or banana. Breakfast was bread; eggs and coffee. We had lost our appetites by the end of the week, and had Amina give the rest of the meat for us to the women. The women ate bread and tea for breakfast, and had fufu or rice with beans for dinner and lunch.

One lunch:

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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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