We leave in a week!!!!
We leave in a freakin weeeeeekkkk!!!!!!
Right now, that actually feels okay. But then it sort of surprises me and I have to admit it- my belly fills right up with nerves and anxiety. I start wondering what I'm nervous about and I honestly don't know, I think it's just coming closer to the energy of such a massive trip.
The trip itself is huge but I've been taking it ever since I had that dream of Shanti, way back when. The dark skinned (indigenous?) woman standing on the rolling hillside, saying her name to me over and over - "Shanti! Shanti!" so that I would remember it when I woke up. I did, and here I am. Listen to your dreams, my friends.
This week will be spent fine tuning the curriculum pieces I'm responsible for. I haven't been able to fully wrap my mind around it in as deep a way as I've wanted because of my other commitments- and now the only thing between me and my flight is my daughter's birthday party on Friday night. When I start to feel especially nervous about going to Uganda, I just think of her birthday- that we need to clean, and plan, and shop, and clean, and bake, and clean. After the intensity of the last many months, that feels like pure heaven to me, and will afford me the time to really nail down my presentations.
One of the things that Jane is organizing is to help facilitate the Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA), Nagawa Florence, to attend our doula training and augment her salary for one year. TBAs have attended births in the village, almost like granny-midwives here in the States. Trained by experience and not books, they're highly respected in their communities and have done their part to increase safety for birthing women all over Africa.
Unfortunately, TBAs are illegal in Uganda, which disenfranchises them from attending births. If they can't attend as a clinician, there isn't another role that allows them to be there. Enter our doula training!
Shanti Uganda has a TBA on staff and we're trying to raise money to help facilitate Nagawa Florence to attend our doula training, and also to augment her salary for a year. The amount needed to do this is $1400 and we're well on our way to raising it. If you feel moved to see how it's going or better yet, to donate, and share this link, please do so!! Our dream is to introduce this concept to the Ugandan culture and help integrate a new role for the TBAs who are left without access to their heart's work.
Seven days. I have to pick up Malarone today, and that's yet another little hurdle to jump over- how will I feel? Will I be well on it? Should I have chosen a gentler route? Would I have had confidence in that? I'd much rather get malaria and know I threw the book at prevention than getting malaria and wondering if I could have done more to prevent it- so I guess Malarone it is.
It's so funny how many people I run into who I know, or who I'm related to, who don't know I'm going to Africa!
7 more days. Wow, that makes my guts churn a bit. I'm going to lose my heart, myself, in Uganda. I wonder who the woman known as Kristina Kruzan will be when she comes back? I can't wait to see. :D