We next went to Tedbouk, our most remote Wodaabe community, but with one of our most dynamic matrones, Miriam. A desolate place with high winds.
Linda donned her Wodaabe skirt…
Achicha helped Hannah don a turban.
And we were ready to see patients. Again we said pregnant women first. We had a challenge with our first patient. She was bofido. This is a time of life when a young married woman is pregnant with her first child. She goes home to live with her mother and wears only black with no color or jewelry. She is not allowed to interact with any men but her brothers or father. She is to be totally reserved. So when she came in to be seen she refused to talk or be examined–a puzzling situation. Eventually with her mother there to negotiate we were able to examine her and found no serious problems.
One of the main reasons for the mission was to train the midwives with actual patients–showing them how to determine due date, position of the baby, if the mother is anemic and taking blood pressure.
As the treatments went on more experienced mom’s got more co-operative
…and we were deluged with patients. Linda kept the kids busy by distributing balloons and enlisted Sidi and one of our guards to teach them how to blow them up.
When we left we had not seen even half and so promised to send Ali back in a week to see the rest.