Lots of photos!

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

As I was left to eat breakfast by myself this morning, I made the most of it and took lots of photos of the kitchen and eating area.  I realised that I haven't taken any yet of that area, and it is probably the most interesting area to see.  It is also dawning on me that it is almost time for me to pack up and move on from this volunteering experience, so I want to take away as many good memories and photos as I can.

I worked alongside Miriam sporadically today, coming and going depending what else was going on.  Throughout the day she saw 17 women, for varying contraceptive or pregnancy advice. There weren't any appointments that were too out of the ordinary but I reflected on how I like her holistic approach to the care.  She discusses diet and nutrition with all of the women, she tells them what their BMI is and explains what is normal.  She also discusses drinking more water with all of them, and the need to drink clean water, which is not always an easy task.  With the teenagers she emphasizes the need to try hard in school and attend for as many years as they can.  She speaks to them about not having babies too young and to save up a bit first.  As soon as someone says they are pregnant she starts talking to them about contraception for after the birth.  She seems to take her role as being a promoter of good health seriously and I like how up front she is with everyone.

I also attended two antenatal appointments with the parteras.  One woman had just seen the obstetrician and wanted to see the parteras because the baby was in the breech position.  I was unsure why this was a problem, as the woman was only 6 months, 28 weeks pregnant, and the baby clearly had plenty of time to get into all sorts of positions over the next 3 months.  The parteras however, covered the abdomen with oil and massaged the uterus and baby.  They worked together and after about 10 minutes the baby was moved, and was heading in the correct direction.  As there is so much time for the baby to move, I can't help but wonder if the benefits outweighs the risks of manipulating the uterus and baby in such a way!  They also saw another woman who was 6 months pregnant, and seemed to be having some pelvic pain, which the parteras attributed to the baby having the cord around its neck.  The two girls from the States were also in attendance today, and they tried to get more of an explanation about this, but Olga just said matter of factly that this explained the pain. 

The girls then had a tour of the "garden", which is where the parteras grow all plants for the traditional medicines, alongside some fruits and vegetables.  We had a delicious lunch, of vegetable soup, followed by rice with chicken, in a kind of sweet and sour sauce, that the parteras had made from scratch.  In the afternoon, I continued working with Miriam, but I think everyone struggled to concentrate as the afternoon sun was intense and unforgiving. 
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karen on

helps to have a visual of how VERY VERY minimal they are, and what u are experiencing! Certainly NOT the kitchen we are used to! You are doing an amazing Job of sticking it out Gemma and LIVING the new culture!

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