Outside “helpers”. Thoughts from a wandering Jew.

Tiptoeing through a minefield

Tiptoeing through a minefield

We are a wandering species. Wandering and shared culture is mutually strengthening. One of my personal goals on this trip is to be tipped off-balance by new experiences, different people and places, and to gain personally from this. As I wrote in one of my earliest posts (“Intercultural Understanding July 29th” https://wiwok.wordpress.com/2013/07/  ) “I believe that help is a minefiled”. My whiteness and my American experience give my words and my ideas power that I do not intend. I am treated with a deference that is both natural hospitality and a discomfitting honor that belies a very mixed intercultural history.

Bringing ideas and teaching imply a negative assessment of midwives and APS Birth Center. A negative assessment does not mean criticism. There is no blame given. But I know it is felt. And that feeling weakens the confidence of those struggling here under very difficult circumstances. It disempowers them and makes them more dependent. So, what if I didn’t try to do what I am doing? What if all the do-gooders walked out of Nepal and left them to their own devices? Maybe they would be better off and midwifery, mothers and babies would figure out quite happily how to care for themselves. Such abstract questions are meaningless and absurd, however, in a globalised and interdependent world. The strength of technological systems deriving from corporate power are such that the marginalised, the midwives and normal birth would lose. So I continue to tiptoe around the minefield.

mines2

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4 comments on “Outside “helpers”. Thoughts from a wandering Jew.

  1. Lauren Schwab says:

    Stay safe friend, we keep you in our hearts and thoughts.

  2. Jeanne Green says:

    You are so wise. Even as a CBE I have often thought that we are over-educating our American women re birth. We want them to make informed decisions, so education is good…. but we want them to listen to their inner wisdom, which seems too often to be lost or not trusted. You are the perfect one to be there to walk the tight-rope and tiptoe around the minefield. Your work will improve the health and safety for birthing women in Nepal, I have no doubt. Keep the faith!
    I have had such fun this morning catching up on your blog posts. It was 6 years ago this week that Gordon and I left for our adventure in Nepal. What an amazing experience it was for us. I LOVE seeing your pictures and hearing of your journey. Godspeed.

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