Diamonds in the Rough: Midwifery, Children, and Asia

I have a new book to read. It is all about connecting with spirit children. I am after a new movement. I would like to support women and children. One of the most vulnerable places a woman can be and is, is in the processes of birth. Prenatal, all through out the process, and post natal. Whats really wild on my journey as a doula is that I would really like to adopt a child. One who is already here, one who could really use so much love and attention. So much work to be done so I can feel like the child receives so much love for me yes but my attention that doesn’t wonder to how I will feed it but wonders more about education, nutrition, and how in the world I will be a good mum to anyone at all.

I am grounding in the fact that I do not care to nor want to compete with women. I think it is by time women joined together. Together to support one another. The talk is of equality of pay, who in the world has whipped out their breast to feed their baby on public transportation, and how women are being treated in both homosexual and heterosexual relationships. My word if there is anything i care about so much in my activism besides making damn sure to treat people with love and respect so that there is more love and respect in this world it would be my observation as to how women are being treated and how we women are treating each other. So midwifery is right there for me to embrace. Because in order to truly represent the kind of woman I want my children to know my grandchildren to know I must become a better selfless servant to those most in need of love and care and that would be pregnant women and newborns.

I am excited, I am sitting with my girlfriends and we are sharing what we know of the processes. What the legislation is. We talk about the healthcare system and the sad fact that in such a country as developed United States women’s health during pregnancy is sometimes at risk because of utter neglect and abuse. Which it in its self is so hidden but new reports show that if a midwife could be apart of the process then the mortality rate would greatly decline. I admire midwives in developing countries because in some instances they have their shit in order. I cringe at what has been happening in Australia, that women have been turning on their own sisters having them sent to jail for offering up services during illegal home births. GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE. The numbers, the lives, the need speaks for its self.

So I have my books to read, retaking classes, and sitting at the feet of women who are midwives with a stance a grounded affirmation. I will not compete against my sister.

By the way this country, Singapore is sooo clean. I went to China town, it was the cleanest China town I have ever seen. It was like I had flown into Ba Sing Se from Avatar the Last Air Bender. The library is in the mall. The past time is shopping and eating. Yet, I hadn’t seen an obese person. Statistics speak that Singapore is one of the happiest countries on earth. Wow. The food is amazing. There are diamonds in the rough here. The people are sweat. They helped me to get on the bus today to go to China town from another part of town. Here I am thinking and bracing myself for Mama China. I know it is a while off in the distance but I am thinking oh my word. I love Mama China and I am so ready to see her again. More beautiful diamonds in the rough please.

My dear friend Rex used to tell me to write everyday, just write, I find that the more revealing the writing is the better. My goodness how personal and yet so good to simply write. Keep writing people!

Over There: A Story of Finding Folks to Hang Out With While Journeying

I am in my hotel room. Very affordable by the way because in the bed over there, I mean about less than 7 feet away is a total stranger. The hotel attendants have brought us two extra beds because also accompanying us are two women from Holland. All of this began because I wanted to bike solo to the rice paddies.

It all began…(love when a story begins this way)…when I was in a small area outside of Kuta town. I was in a hostel and reviewing the best ways to get to where I wanted to go when two women walked in. We said hi to each other and they said they were going to Ubud. The next thing I knew I said to them, want to rent bikes and journey to the rice paddies. They looked at each other and said something to the tune of, yeah we can do that. The very next day, being today, we got on a shuttle for Ubud. In the same shuttle was a British man. Once we arrived in Ubud we decided to try the same hotel that another two women were staying at. When we got to the other women hotel (which was quite a walk by the way and I had to pull out the “are we there yet”) we realized the place was too expensive. So me, the women from Holland, and the Brit decided to trek back towards where we were dropped off. A man standing outside of a Villa started yelling at us. We ignored him at first but we realized with the four of us, maybe if they could let us all be in the same room, we could pay hostel prices for a nice space. The attendants were okay with that in the end and so there is a stranger in the bed not too far away. It really actually pays to say what you feel when you feel it.

I am sitting here thinking I rarely do these things. Just felt right to me so I am going with the flow. Going with the flow also landed me at an ice cream parlor with vegan ice cream and a gluten free cone for a good price.

Flowing with it.

Babel: Stranger than Fiction

When I carried a smile on my face all the time. This ever-present part of my costume, look, wardrobe, and expression. It was my white flag.

“Look, I like to just be, I want to talk to you but don’t bring your shit, opinions, and too much violent babel over here!” That is what the smile was about. I didn’t need another group of cowboys, outlaws, and sass talking women in my life. I have a family. They had shown me a lot of that already.

My smile was also my way of hiding the beast, the shadow, and the opposite in my clutches. The smile was an innate room for the sadness, disappointments, and rough housing I had inside of me that looked like me. The critic who let me know when something was wrong. I ignore just about anything now. To some degree I must. I must come stepping back into my eyes to peer out and see what is going on. I have gone on a soul retrieval before to go and get the little girl that tried to hide in the underworld below the trees in a room, thinking she might be safer there. Even when I placed her in safe keeping inside a part of me I knew she would like- I still have to meditate constantly and walk very slowly sometimes to stay behind my eyes.

How I am feeling and one thing I have learned is not to listen to no one. I will listen to my gut, but I don’t take opinions lightly anymore because I have realized those who give opinions are probably afraid of something I am or could do. They want things to be designed their way for their comfort. Women I looked up to, the men who did things I wanted to do. The people I loved but walked away from because I didn’t need another disappointment and i could leave just as fast as they could.

Power says that doing such things will make you lonely. Indian gurus and Mexican sorcerers say that doing such things will make you detached, ready, and happy.

I am both.

I came to another country town with my backpack too heavy for some reason. I walked into another man who had far too much clothing in his sack. Toys to play with including his shaver. The most I brought I gave away recently. I won’t speak too far on these things because what I did has already been done. I gave away my Uno cards. I gave away my hacky sack play toy, because there is no one to play it with. A few articles of clothing I had to be brave and cry a little have also crossed the counter at the local thrift store. The bag they came in went to and I still have a heavy backpack because I refuse to get rid of my hand blender which has a food processor and attachable mixer handle. A woman wants and needs her smoothies.

We, me and the stanger, had been at a local man’s house pulling weeds out of his garden for room and board. What a kind stranger he gave me a pair of his pants, which are very comfortable by the way. He gave them to me and I wear them a couple of days throw them in the wash and put them back on. So comfortable. I just change my shirts.

A few days of fun and then he wanted to spend a major holiday in a bigger city. He’d met someone online and he wanted to see the fireworks. I felt I might miss him but when he left I didn’t so much. I helped to drop him off at the bus station and went with the local man to buy mouse traps for his home. I wanted him to buy the humane ones that catch them and you drive a bit away and let them go. He doesn’t like to listen to anyone either much so he brought the ones that you put the cheese in the middle of the trap and the trap snaps and kills the mice. When we woke up the next morning I think he made the mice really angry. They had bitten a few apples, thrown the walnuts, and pooped on the stove. I thought damn! You made them mad!

I haven’t really been singing. I used to but they were the same songs and I had gotten tired of them. I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all. I stopped singing the same old songs with hope that I would find new ones to sing and that I would sing them out loud so that the spirits I like would have songs to hear.

I have been in my own world. I figure this is necessary for me to come to my eyes. I have been helping foreigners improve their English. They have been teaching me French. I have even signed on to help a man who speak Arabic. Yesterday a man who speaks Portuguese reached out to me. He wants to improve his English and asked if I would talk to him. In return he would teach me Portuguese. Well first he asked if I was interested because he didn’t see it in my profile. I wanted to say no, I am not interested in Portuguese. But then I thought here is an opportunity. Here is a free opportunity to learn a language you don’t know. A language you haven’t cared about. Maybe you could use it some day or at least have it around. So I said yes. I need to say yes more.

Now when I am talking to someone my languages have been mixing up. I say Hola, Guten Morgen, Comment vous-tu? Oh dear. But what I most love about it is that no one has an opinion about it. The only ones I hear now is the ones where someone is correcting my spelling or context. Far away in a land that I do not know I can be myself. I can speak my quirks. One man wanted to know why I kept a green hoodie on. I shared the quirk I have about my neck and ears being cold. He nodded. The guy I dropped off at the bus stop the other day, he has the same quirk. I didn’t share mine with him he said it himself, that he doesn’t like the wind at his neck.

He was the second person to share his babel with me. A list of words while he tried to convince me I should drink hard cider with him. I drank apple juice instead and asked him to write the list. I think he had two drinks. He wanted me to write it. He only got excited and really wrote the rest when he pronounce at the pub that I should learn a few cuss words to boot. The first one in German he shared was shit. We had a little in common. That’s my favorite cuss word in English.

A day and five hours from the country I called home I am embracing that I had better make promises to myself and keep them as best I can rather than not. I had better live life so that life doesn’t live me. I had better dance my ass off. I had better look and stop trying to atone for what I don’t control. Love now! Practice now! Learn now!

My paternal grandmother passed away last year. My Father put up some of his property and some of her’s to pay for her funeral. My cousin took it and the deal was he would be paid back in a year or he could keep it. The year past and my sister found out about the deal. Which meant the property we had been told since we were little kids would belong to us when my grandmother passed and my dad was no more, might not belong to us anymore. For some reason as I listened to my sister’s very violent rant about what she wanted to do and who she was going to cuss out in a more white way sounded so beneath what I wanted and how I wanted to deal with this. I want no more parts of it and the only thing I could think of was that I hope my Papa who made it so clear before he died that the only way land could pass from one person to the next in our family was through each other and there could be no outsides, wouldn’t be disappointed with me.

That’s why my sister was so angry, my dad has only his children and his land but no real male son to inherit his “place”. We are his “sons” to carry on his line. I was thinking as she went on and on that I would give my son my last name to be sure my great great grandchildren could find their blood line. My dad had passed the land to our cousin and once our cousin was gone it would pass to his children and in his line. Yep pretty biblical and royal I know.

My cousin tried to use his best speech to explain why this was a good idea. My sister tried to use her most diplomatic cuss words to explain to him why he could kiss her ass and be thankful she couldn’t hurt him. My great aunt just held her head a little low, I think because she has witnessed her family unravel and the new generation speaks to each other like so.

I snapped my fingers at my sister and asked her to let it go. I thanked her for dealing with it, somehow she felt that dealing with it she was protecting me. She said she will load and I can shoot and that’s how we are supposed to be. She said while I was over here with peace she had been dealing with those MFers for me. I thought I want nothing to do with this. I wouldn’t like to have anything to do with them. I wear a smile for them. My smile says look this is my white flag… mask. It is and it isn’t real. It is partly a I love you too much to come down to your level and underestimate you, it’s partly don’t come over here with that bull Scheisse, and it’s partly don’t make my beast leap out and tear you to shreds I am holding it back for your safety and the care of what some may call my karma. Trust me you want non of this.

What to do about the count pilgrim?

Visiting Africa has truly been a wild journey. Yesterday, Sunday, I was taken to a town called Dande. It was a while from the city of Bobo. Mostly I tried gesturing to people when they spoke or I used my un pau francias. Wasn’t feeling so great so I sat under a tree for most of the day with Stephan, Larry, and the other folks in the compound. The people are so relaxed.

Some of us took turns in a way shooing the goats from the food bowls. Baby chickens walked straight over my legs while I laid on a mat trying to rest.

The women of the compound were all active cooking foods, holding children, and assisting in offerings. When they saw me breathing slightly funny one came up to me with a blue cup with red water in it. They motioned for me to sniff the liquids. I did, my nose started running it was as if i had taken in cayenne pepper water. I could breath better which was nice. My nostrils however were burning.

I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to hang out with the women. Before it was all said and done I was placed on a stool and somekind of plant resin was burned while i held my head over the coals with my shawl to keep the smoke from escaping. A woman had grabbed me layed me across her lap and held me really tight, yep I needed a hug. i was offered something that tasted like donuts, and danced for the family with my shawl over my head in rhythm with beautiful music on the radio. I loved dancing for them they made sounds like eh’ when they liked something and one of the women danced too while singing the song she knew.

I needed to dance barefooted on the earth. I needed to shake off the winds around me and dance. Silly, theatrical, and like it is the medicine that brings me to myself again. I do imagine it was a sight to see.

But thats why I came. To tell a story, to dance and sing, to see and grow. To touch mama Africa hands and barefooted on Mama Earth. To say hello.

Call me a pilgrim if you will.

Today is Monday. It’s been a day no doubt. My blood test results spoke of iron deficiency and low counts in the iron and b vitamin departments. There are no real super veggies about except Moringa as far as I know. So I am going to take drastic action and eat meat voluntarily after 5 years of being a veggie lover. Oh goodness wish me well.

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Update: I ate chicken! Thank you thank you thank you.

Beware TMI

Last night Larry and a friend of his  whose name I don’t know took me to the clinque (thats how it is spelled). Opened the door for me and both of them sat on my bed as I waited for the doctor. I was in a room with three other people. A crone I imagine, who was lying on her side in and out of sleep and a child and her mother. The child was probably no more than four.

Then came the part I didn’t like…they wanted to check my blood. Prick one, my finger, prick two my arm. Cotton swab. Rest. As for the glucose IV bag by the bed I said no thanks for the sugar and three men tried to continuously convince me it was necessary to have the IV. It took twenty minutes then I sat all pricked and upset.

I noticed it but didn’t say anything but you know you have to leave it to someone else to say it. Larry said, Sabrina haha look girl over there iv no problem but Sabrina big problem haha. Everyone laughed. Very funny. On this.trip.I brought a big bag of candy chocolates and three blowpops. I had put the blow pops in my pocket that day and so being in a room with three people I gave them the three candies. Seemed very serendipitous to me.

Larry and his friend came in and out of the room keeping me company. Then came the next big deal. They put medicine in the iv that made me feel tired, then they wanted to put more in my arm. I said, oh my gosh what!  and everyone laughed again the elder in the room kept trying to convince me by pointing and making gestures and speaking french, Larry translated.After a long time I consented. They were trying to get me to relax and go to bed and the way they thought to do it was that way. It took twenty minutes, Larry must have known cause he said you feel sleep, and I finally couldn’t do it anymore I was out. So many dreams.

When i woke up it was just us.the women. They were sleeping under their blankets I was cold. I opened the door of the room. I just wanted the iv out of my arm. It wasnt easy sleeping with it in. I tell you one thing …I would like to donate blankets to hospitals in Burkina because there weren’t any. It was a cold night. The women must have brought covers from their home.

I went to the desk and woke the man who was the receptionist lying on the floor. I gestured that wanted the IV out because the bag was finished. He went to get the doctor who at first didnt understand probably because he had just woken up too. Then he thankfully removed it and I layed out to go to bed. About six in the.morning, or shall I say four hours later, a woman was washing the floor in the room she was so thorough that she was hitting the beds with the mop. Then about seven something i was still pretty much tired on the medicines. But awesomely I turned and saw Larry’s friend. He walked up to the bed lifted the mosquito netting held my arm and helped me out of the room. Larry was thanking the doctors who asked him do i smoke? No. Do i drink? No. Am I on any drugs? No.

Then he handed.over my blood test results and we were out. By the time I made it to the hotel I had many messages from friends wondering about me. Larry was adamant about bread, eggs, and tea.

One message from a friend was that I should come home. And to send them my info so that my ticket could be changed. But it was so late there in america and so early here I called the airline. They changed my ticket for free  because of all the hastle getting me here and because I had to come out of pocket. So that was great news. I just told them the truth.

I would like to go home early. They were nice about it. They just changed it and said something like ma’am have a great flight home.

What’s wild and this is TMI is that every country I have been to including Canada I have had to go ernestly but here nothing. I hope thats a good thing. But i have only been eating hot foods, and bottled water. I only stepped out once when an elder offered me food. I ate some of it out of respect. Whats cool is that she offered me moringa stewed. Larry’s friend whose name I didn’t know brought me Moringa seeds yesterday. If you know about Moringa…all it takes is a few seeds or a a dose of the leaves and it will give you lots of Vitamins and Minerals but at the cost of having to go ernestly to the restroom.

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A guide for a week p.1

It’s like no place I’ve ever been. My sensitivities has been ringing alarms and also shielding me. Instead of jumping fully in I have been having to introduce myself. Say hi and be on the outskirts looking about.

First off this is the first place I have been where french is the language you use if you want to speak. The universal language. Then there is the mix of indigenous languages weaved in like julu and others.

But let me get to that. So the next night i was invited to dinner at a cafe by a friends friend and his family was there. He’s the best at the english language I’ve spoken to so far, however his child was grabbing unto his leg and he affectionally said this is my son. I was like word….certainly looked like a girl to me with her hair in cornrow braids and her fingernails painted. She was probably also playing in make up because the little one wore hints of pink lipstick. Either way i asked for his childs name and he said Anna. So. I knew he meant daughter but I was being open minded like hey maybe it doesn’t matter here. But I know I know he meant she was his daughter.

I sat down. Before coming to  Africa I had been briefed on water. Do not drink the water and even.if its in a bottle put your steripen in it and zapp it, wait ten to thirty minutes and then drink. I ordered what I spaghetti no tomato sauce but my stimach wouldn’t let me finish so sadly I spent the rest of the meal needing to go sit kn the toilet wit the seat down and my head down to calm the nauseous feeling. The man’s family was nice and wanted to share their pizza and french fries but after having lost my pizza the day before i figured maybe i didn’t need it.

Oh the scents oh the scents! You need a mask for one whose nose is sensitive a mask will help you to be outside. I smelt mens cologn, dust, chemicals, and food scents. I readily went to the room i rented and layed down. The next day we were to take off i wanted to be ready for the trip to Bobo which I heard was five hours from Oaugadougou. The next morning came and i was so ready to go from the capital that i had.my bags packed and turned in my key by 8 am. I sat and waited. I glanced outside. Waited…drank water. Waited. Nothing. When the guide and I finally talked he let me know the students in Oaugadougou were upset about not  having food at the university so they shut down the fuel station for a time. It would be an hour till we were ready by then it was noon.

Okay, I realized something then. My bags were very light. I lost my tent. Oh great. Anyway lets continue. So after another hour and or so he pulled up…just as I was about to order food by the way. But I dropped ordering to get on the road to the music city of Burkina. It was so hot in the car fhe windows rolled down or up the air conditioner on or off. Oh dear. I turned it on high, pressed another button. Mens cologne, no food oh dear. Heat. Just as we were going across a bridge i saw the smoke…it was like someone turned a small fogger on in the car. He pulled over and we got out. The belt of the engine had seen its last days. Oh great. Lol. I went to sit at the roadside plant nursery were did  not go to Bobo that day.

For the evening that follwed I spent time handing mini chocolate candy bars to kids. The next morning we were on the road. Five hours of me trying to just go to sleep to take my mind off of the air, the scents, and my stomach.

When we did arrive I sat down in the lobby of the hotel. Up to then I was amazed at the wild ride this trip had been. But lets recount the many times I’ve gone somewhere and found out what was happening.

2011: I thought, you know what I’ve never heard of a black girl sailing. I will go do that. The day we decided to set sail we learned a tsunami had had hit Japan and Hawaii and the coast of Cali was  bracing themselves. My friends told me later that someone said where the hell is Sabrina? Of course I was the one on the ship on the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of Cali. They knew because I had them drop me off at the train so I could make it to the docks a few nights earlier.

Maybe I should write a memoir. I remember telling my bestfriend that I want these stories to inspire my grandchildren.

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Up next: A Guide for a Week P.2

Gator ~ a poem

Slow and steady
Too big for all that rushin’
Saving energy for the meat of a savory large fine
Pray

Prey, look both ways
Dream hunting in the cool
Mud caking up the shoes
Hidden in the leaves
Taking naps in the breeze

Fall back in the ease
Waves passing as a sneeze

Blessings
Bless your heart
There are caverns, then there’s carts

Braiding up the hair
Kicks for kicks
Snare for snare
Curtains cover
This and other

Ever exchanging.

Raise your toast
Spit your liqour
Banish ghosts

Eye and eye
Above water
Belly know them both
Up and over, deep and slumber
Crackling lightning
Lions den
Wings return to their dragon
When the illuminated stretch
Wide awake
Froasted cake
Sugar toothed
Though are loosed
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