The Journey Begins

Although I will not leave for Central Africa until the 24th of the month, the women who are traveling from the farthest distances (Uganda and Tanzania) will be beginning their journey this week. It is hard to imagine that it will take two weeks for the journey, especially when I could drive from New York to California in just a few days. But in the United States, we have access to reliable transportation, paved roads and expressways. We have trains and safe airports that can make the journey even faster.

It really makes me appreciate even more how committed these women are to helping their communities. I don’t know that I would be as willing to travel two weeks there and two weeks back to learn about midwifery – and I love everything birth related.

It also makes me appreciate just how much these women are giving up to do this. The $206 per midwife we estimated only covered the costs of the training; the travel, food, accommodations and supplies. It did not include the lost income and other costs associated with being away from your home and family for six weeks.

There is only one word I can think of to describe these women — heroes.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)