I awoke this morning to what sounded like a parade on the street next to our hotel. Not sure what that was all about…probably just someone blasting the car stereo. After hearing so much bad press about Haiti and Port au Prince in particular, I have to admit that I am enamored with this place and angered that it has such a bad rap. The people are beautiful, inside and out. The city, while scarred from its recent past, is still amazing. Driving through a city of millions on roads that are sometimes paved, with no stripes, lights, or rules in general turns out to be quite a safe and entertaining adventure. Of course, I’m not the one driving!
Tuesday was amazing. We went out to Simone Pele and met with 11 matrones. We were back there Wednesday. For those of you who don’t know, Simone Pele is technically in Cite Soliel…tent cities and rough ones, to boot. Our setting (a church) felt safe and I am thankful that we had a nice place to meet. The midwives were absolutely amazing. Honest, open, and hungry for knowledge. The mix of the crowd was fascinating — hospital trained midwives, “new” apprentice/school trained midwives, aspiring midwives, and old school midwives. Some heavily dependant on folklorem others on evidence…but each and every one interested in healthy moms and healthy babies.
Also on Wednesday, we went out to the village of Titanyen and had the opportunity to meet with two midwives. One gentleman has been a midwife fir 60 years!!!!! We figure he has helped with 10 to 20000 birth. Imagine the knowledge he holds!
Today, we were back in Prospere, where we were lucky enoygh to get to do prenatals earlier in the week. Getting a clean birth kit into each mamas hands was fun and overwelming. Talking with the local midwives, enlightening.
We are very encouraged and excited to have forged these relationships. The rest of the trip will consist of assimilating all we have learned, starting to crunch numbers, planning next steps, and following up on other work (Aid in Action).