Packing to Leave

Packing to Leave

We are counting the hours until a taxi comes to collect us.  Our bags are packed, and Tammy’s looks to be OK even as it bulges at the seams. I’m sure all my clothing will smell like the coffee beans packed under my dirty clothes when I return home Good thing I like that smell.

At the end of the training, each doula made a wish for the women of Nairobi while placing a glass heart on a tray.  As we left, we each took one of the wish hearts to keep safe until next year.  I shared my wish, that no woman in Nairobi will have to give birth alone, with a tear in my eye.  And as Kenyan tradition requires, the women gave us gifts and sent us off “showered with flowers.”

Life will continue for the doulas of Nairobi. We are hoping that the easier access to communication will allow us to have more frequent updates from this group, and are looking forward to sharing their successes, and challenges, with you.  Tammy is already planning a return trip to train even more doulas to ensure no woman in Nairobi gives birth alone.


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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the 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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