As we were arriving, Ilsa Beaumont, a midwife from Belgium who has been serving here for five months, was leaving. We had a meeting with many of the local, traditional Ugandan midwives who honored her as part of our meeting – singing to her and dancing around her! One of them stuffed a balled-up cloth under her shirt and pretended to be in labor, presenting her “baby-belly” to Ilsa to catch. It was so funny and wonderful! Ilsa laughed and cried and finally caught on, taking the cloth from under her fellow midwife’s shirt as everyone shouted and applauded.
Before Ilsa left, I went to a birth with her, and it was blessed. That was the first time that I saw a midwife use saw grass to cut the cord. Thank you, Ilsa, for your service to so many mothers and babies!