Ten years ago, my best friend and I travelled to Ghana, Africa. We lived there for a month. During our visit, we were taught traditional dancing and drumming. It was very hard work for me, as I can barely hear a rhythm, never mind move to one. Oh and I was nicknamed ‘the big one’ because of my tiny dancer body, graceful coordination plus I had to wear the male costumes as the female ones didn’t fit. (In all honesty though I loved the truthful and blunt communication of the Ghanaian people) Anyways I digress, once fully submerged into the culture we went to remote villages to teach about the transmission of HIV/AIDS through culturally familiar drama.
Another memory from that trip, that really stuck with me was what I called ‘getting the chance for a lap baby’. Which was simply what we nicknamed helping families with their babies and kids on public transit. Where a mother boarded the vehicle (called a tro tro) and gave you her baby on your lap (hence the name) to help her get settled. Imagine getting to hold a complete strangers baby! Well this was obviously a legit dream come true for me! (yet seems like such a wild occurrence here in 2020) This stuck with me because it truly exemplifies “it takes a village”. The world showed me to have faith in the meaning of this phrase. I continue to carry that belief with me during doula life.
My curiosity into reproduction, childbirth and maternal wellness grew. I returned home knowing more and wanting more. I am privileged to have been able to do this through continuing education, volunteering and more travelling. (Oh how I miss travel) When I’m posed with the question “tell me more about yourself” or “how did you get into doula work” the answers are often somewhat rehearsed, short and sweet (well just more direct cause I like to talk haha). But the truth, my truth is somewhat complex and descriptive. My doula journey is so much more than just a career but a destiny I’ve been living towards for a long time.
Today is a day of so many things as we transition into winter and the holiday season, but it is also world hiv/aids awareness day which rallies for ‘global solidarity’. In a year that has handed us so much, I think this togetherness vibe is more important than ever. The diverse harmony of humanity fuels my fire. I hope this doula passion burns forever.