Wednesday, February 23, 2011

. . . in spirit and deed

Oh, naught but the Spirit's divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

In 16 days from now the first "on the ground" team from Women's World Health Initiative will arrive in Senegal. I am so thankful that my daughter, Natalie will be coming with me! Day One will be a 10 hour jeep ride to a southern village in the Tambacounda region. Natalie and I will be dropped off at a rural health post with an interpreter, our backpacks, some water, tools for documenting and hearts and hands ready to work. We will only have 5 days to spend with workers at the post and matrons (traditional birth attendants) in 2 outlying villages.
This trip is coming to pass just 5 months later than I originally visualized it. One year ago, Briana and I braved the Travel Clinic and started immunizing for Third World travel. All we knew is that we were going somewhere and ours was the task of getting prepared. We pictured ourselves traveling together, sister midwives. I'm positive we would not have gone through the preparations on our own. She went to Guatamala last August with The Hope Alliance while I stayed in Arizona to catch my cousin's baby girl. We cried at the Phoenix airport when I dropped her off. This Africa opportunity popped up for me at a time when she is tethered to home for some baby catching. I am already crying at the thought of not having her in Senegal.
As the doors have opened for this trip and the details are being hammered out, I am aware of the rightness of the timing, the opportunities for peace and light and love in so many lives.
Here's an example. A few weeks ago I was flying to DC reading a book that had been on my list for awhile, Half the Sky. It is not a pleasant piece of reading. Slave trafficking, FGM, high maternal/infant mortality rates, fistulas and so much more were found between the covers of this book. The author commented on the power of going there. There is so much good to be done. The most amazing transformations however occur within the lives of those who go. A clear impression came to me as I read. Take Natalie. Of course! I love Natalie. She is brave and we share the love of adventure, the crazier the better. I started my mental checklist of all the challenges of making it happen. Her job, her kids, no passport, no shots, logistics of joining the team, money and on and on. At each item on the list, solutions popped up. I would talk to her boss myself. Her office might even get on board with support. Send Pretzel to WA for a Lukey vacation. Expedite the passport, be discriminating and quick on the shots, contact WWHI director about the possibility. Well, it all worked out. Swimmingly! Nat's office is so excited for her. The passport already arrived, yellow fever immunity is flowing through her veins. Our tickets have been purchased and so has Presley's. This ball is rolling!
I am completely at peace with every circumstance of this trip.
Tonight we went to a travel planning meeting. Reality is replacing the anticipation. I have a crisp awareness of my responsibility to Walk My Talk.
Ready, set . . .
Let's go girl!
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diane said...

Senegal will be blessed to have you both within her borders. You two will be blessed to carry Senegal in your hearts.

jade said...

Good luck. I hope you take in a lot when you are there so you can come back and tell me allllll about it. This will be an awesome experience mom!

Pres8Jes said...

eeeeeeeek, i am an excited nervous mess! maybe i will feel better once i have some new shoes to wear! & figure out which foods i can pass through the airports! a journey lies ahead of us, i really cannot wait to venture out to learn about somewhere new. here we go.

Mama's Place said...

You are both a lot braver than I could ever be. I don't want to think of all the inconviences you will have to deal with. I'm just a scared old mama...keep me home where the toilet's flush and I have running water for a hot shower.

But I am impressed to see you do what your heart tells you to do. Have a great trip and may you gather lots of memories.

Kim said...

Oh, I'm sooo excited for you I could squeal!!! What a fantastic opportunity and adventure. I can't wait to "hear" all about it upon your return!!

Briana said...

I will miss you

Sycamore Girl said...

You have no idea how badly I wish I was going on this adventure with you. Something fierce.
You have been prepared and I'm sure you will returned a changed woman. How lucky you are, and the people who have yet to encounter you!
For you certainly are a Force to be encountered.

auntgigi said...

I read this quote today *Rumi* and thought of you and your pending venture:

-- When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. --

Amy S said...

Cathy- I am inspired by your willingness to embrace this opportunity. May your travels be wonderful and safe. I look forward reading/ hearing about it.