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Overnight in Bukavu

We enjoyed the night in Bukavu, it was the first and still only time we had hot water on this trip. Tammy took two hot baths before we left. Georgette left before dinner, and we didn’t hear from Flory until the morning so we were on our own for food. We were a little freaked out by the overly helpful security guard, so just ate some protein bars in our room. We had beautiful views of Lake Kivu.

We had printed up a report for the Ministry of Health at the hotels internet cafe, and in the morning we walked over to deliver it. We met the minister again, and this time I didn’t sit quietly. I reported on what we taught, and told the minister what the women had said about the clinics, “since I knew you would want to be informed.” He looked a little embarrassed, said it was a problem that he would look into.

He asked for a picture of us when we left. Either it is true that proving you know Muzungu brings status or Tammy is right and we needed to get out of the country ASAP because I had upset too many people.

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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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