Things coming together…. progress?

The sun rose to another clear day and a clear view of the mountains the day after the elections. What would happen next? After breakfast, I got organized to head out to the birth center. Everything was…. normal. How interesting. No violence, no excitement, just life, busy streets and newspaper headlines that the elections were peaceful. Results were coming in. Record voter turnout. The maoists who led the stirkes had lost badly. But rather than responding violently to defeat, it seems they were licking their wounds and moving on. The marxist-leninists and the Nepali Congress are the 2 big winners with the vast ¬†majority of votes. The maoists, with a smaller number, hold the balance of power. Other parties have mostly 5% or less. All of this seems such a mature democratic outcome and brings a dose of optimism and confidence in the future that I think is in the air.

With the birth room redecorated, the childbirth education in place and the brochure at the printers, my work here is coming to a close.The anti-shock garment project sent me in and out of offices, NGO and Government, and I did two hospital presentations on its use.The new graduate level program in midwifery will hopefully start next year, It will be the first in the country and a prerequisite for the Midwifery Society of Nepal to have membership in the International Confederation of Midwives which regulates the profession worldwide. An initial research project would raise the prestige of the program and of the profession. It may really happen that it will be an anti-shock garment project. Kiran is for it. Dr Regmi, a big cheese at the Ministry of Health is for it and will fund impementation if initial funding is found. Doesn’t that sound like concrete progress? It feels good.

Meanwhile there was a funny day last week when the world seemed to be converging on APS birth center.Volunteers and staff were hauling around dusty piles of medical equipment, sorting, chucking, organizing. That frenzied, excitable mood that happens with a big clean was all around. Some of the senior staff who come in occasionally, Rashmi, Asha, Amala, were all there. And so were the Duggars! What? Yes father Duggar and Jill Duggar from the reality TV show about the family with the 19 biological children along with TV crew, invaded the festive cleaning up atmosphere of the center. For my non-US readers, know that even if, like me, you are barely aware of television and popular culture, you cannot help hearing about the Duggars and their TV tribe in the US. Jill D is on her way to becoming a midwife and while visiting Nepal, she wanted to visit a birth center, Nepali midwives and make an episode about her aspirations. Rashmi was interviewed. Mothers, babies and midwives were filmed. A festive mood prevailed.

While this was going on, the normal day at the center was happening too. A couple came in, for what they thought was an intial prenatal appointment at 29 weeks pregnant. But no heart-beat, and measuring many weeks smaller than 29 weeks. Sadly her baby was not alive. The couple were hugged and supported. Follow-up care was arranged. They had a a quiet corner of the center as the camera crew charged around. Sometimes events coincide in strange ways. Meanings are unclear but the strangeness implies meaning of some kind. That is midwifery in Nepal and everywhere.

Here are some birth center pics and then some older tourist pictures

APS motherbaby, APS staff, and a Dugger!

APS motherbaby, APS staff, and a Duggar!

Dinah and Jill (Dugger #4 outof 19)

Dinah and Jill (Duggar #4 outof 19)

APS board dinner

APS board dinner


Annapurna just after dawn


Annapurna dawn


temple guard


god eats other god alive


Ganesh Himal


9 comments on “Things coming together…. progress?

  1. daniel says:

    You look very tan

  2. It certainly sounds as if you’re making a difference. The work you’ve done is going go leave its mark for a long time to come: that much is clear. Reading your account and looking at the pictures – you’ve become part of the community, haven’t you? And returning home with some good recipes, no doubt…

  3. Hi Dinah I am coming out to volunteer at the birth centre in February and would like to try and bring some resources/equipment out if that would be useful. Since you mentioned they have been having a big clear out I wondered whether you would be able to provide me with a list of stuff that is needed? I would be very grateful as while I would like to contribute I don’t just want to bring out a load of stuff that’s maybe not useful.
    Loving the blog!

    • dinahw says:

      Rashmi says her email is not working. She apologizes. She states they could really use: 2 BP cuffs, 3 stethoscopes, 2 model fetuses (they have 2 pelvises already) Manual vacuum aspirators for incomplete abs (with syringe and canulas different sizes). If you can spring to a doppler, they would love an extra one of those. Sure you will have fun.

    • dinahw says:

      contact me by email if you want to chat more about APS and Nepal

  4. masha says:

    Just to let you know.. The 7th photo is not god eating another god.. It depicts Vishnu’s avatar of Narsimha (Half man-half lion) killing the demon Hiranyakashyap..

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